AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 143#.
19 APRIL 2006
FURTHER CENTRALISATION OF ROMAN CATHOLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM AND MARK LATHAM'S COMMENTS
dogs NOTE WITH INTEREST THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS FROM AN ARTICLE ON CATHOLIC EDUCATION AS REPORTED IN THE AGE, APRIL 11, 2006:
"A review of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria calls for a centralized system under an incorporated commission. The confidential report, obtained by The Age, argues that the Catholic school system lacks accountability and is ill equipped to meet government demands for performance and governance...under the new structure, which starts on July 1, an eight member board has been created to manage compliance with legal, social and religious requirements in schools. ...
Ms Pascoe, (the Executive Director of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria) acknowledged there had been a lack of consultation about the review but said the church had to respond to the massive changes being experienced by the education system."
It is not surprising that the allegedly independent "congregations" responsible for 55% of secondary students in this church school system are somewhat alarmed.
DOGS find the above "admission" of " lack of accountability" and further centralization of the Roman Catholic Education system of interest given that we have been remarking on both matters for the last four decades.
Mark Latham would also find it interesting. DOGS quote from "The Latham Diaries" page 83 where he wrote:
"When Labour ended the State Aid debate in the 1970s we effectively created a monster. The Catholics now have the funding and the electoral power to play the politicians off a break, creating a bidding war between the parties at election time."
Mark Latham's diaries become even more revealing on page 145-146. In an entry for 10 October 2000 he had this to say:
" The Government is introducing a new funding system for non-government schools, based on the socioeconomic status (SES) of students and their parents. It's an improvement on the old category-based system, although it still has too much guaranteed funding for wealthy schools. The scandal in the policy, however, is the exemption granted to the Catholics.
Instead of having their needs assessed and grants allocated school by school, the Catholic Education Commission is going to keep its block grants. That is, it will continue to receive a bundle of money from the Government and make its own school-by-school allocation of funds, with no public transparency. Every other system will receive school-by-school SES allocations from the Federal Government. It's a rort to maintain the centralised power and authority of the Catholic Commission.
The story gets worse. At Caucus today Beazley said he spent the weekend at Notre Dame University in Freemantle ( regarding the Republic). Peter Tannock told him that if the Catholics had accepted the SES system , they would have received an extra $240 million in public funding. As it stands, they will get $100 million in additional funding. Incredibly, in the name of centralised power, they had done themselves out of $140 million. It's a scandal of the first order.
But get this: Beazley wants to hush it up. He told Caucus, 'I said to Tannock to take his money [the $100 million] and leave the politics to the politicians. We [the ALP] are not going to say a word about it in public. 'Beazley reckons he's against the elites in this country but now he wants us to condone a backroom deal to protect the Catholic elite, which costs their school students $140 million...."
DOGS note that it is not surprising that Latham is no longer in politics. With his early public school training he apparently expected more from religious men than cruel experience taught him
DOGS also note the further centralization of this Church system , given constant and ongoing vilification of the decentralised State system as still "over- centralised".
One of the first and continuing developments in the Church system after the provision of Federal per capita funding was, to quote Hedley Beare in his Foreword to Anne O'Brien's Blazing a Trail: Catholic Education in Victoria 1963-1980:
" A Behemoth appearing where before there was nothing substantial....in order to qualify for federal funding, the Catholic authorities had to set up centralised, quasi bureaucratic machinery to distribute it, even while the Schools Commission was clearly on a mission to de-bureaucratise the State school systems, to break down the centralisation of their operations. "
For further discussion on these matters, listen to 3CR, 855 on the am dial
12.30 p.m. next Saturday.
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|Last modified:Wednesday, 19 April 2006|