AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 206 #.
10 MAY 2007
FEDERAL BUDGET 2007/2008
A SNOW JOB
NASTY, DESTRUCTIVE, AND MEAN FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION
CONTINUED FAVOURITISM OF PRIVATE EDUCATION
Julie Bishop, Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, has provided taxpayers with a paper storm of News Releases, ( 28 separate Education Media Releases). These conveniently conceal the destructive policies in relation to public education and the continued and continuing favouritism to private schools.
Public Education cannot obtain any comfort from the Labor party's Shadow Minister, Stephen Smith' response to the Budget Papers ( 9 May 2007 Media Statement )
1. DOGS COMMENTS:
DOGS note that the Labor Opposition has deleted public education as the priority from their Education platform. In fact,, for them public is private, and private is public. No distinction worth talking about for Kevin Rudd and Stephen Smith.
DOGS have been wondering why Julie Bishop and her spin doctors have been so quiet while Rudd and Smith have been spruiking their Education Revolution ( read Devolution and Destruction of Public Education) . But a quick trip to their Media Centre Budget 2007-2008 reveals 28 Media Releases relating to Education in one foul swoop. And foul it is for Public Education.
2. MASSIVE CONTINUED FAVOURITISM OF PRIVATE CHURCH SCHOOLS
DOGS wish to add to the analysis of the Budget papers offered by the Teacher Unions. We have analysed Federal Budget Paper No. 3, 2007/08 , Appendix, Table D1 Page 49. This page lists recurrent funding for government schools and non-government schools for the financial years2006/07 and 2007/08. We cannot inform you about 2008/2009, 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 because we are told that this is "Not for Publication"! Not only are they covering up a much worse situation. They claim that the extension of current agreements has not yet been negotiated with the State and Territorial Government. As a consequence they claim that the amounts payable under the agreements cannot be specifically identified.
A even closer reading indicates that the Howard Government are threatening the State Governments and holding public education to ransom in the process. For example, they write that the next schools funding agreement will require state and territory governments to provide an equivalent increase in funding for regional and remote government schools from 2009. What they do not mention in that particular News Release "New Reforms to Improve School Standards", is revealed in the fine print of another News Release headed" More Support for regional and remote non-government schools". An even closer reading reveals that approximately 400 non-government schools and their students will directly benefit from this additional funding. No mention is made of any government school in this program. At least at this stage the Howard Government has come clean: This particular News Release states:
'Who will benefit?
So the Howard Government is not interested in providing funds for regional and remote Government schools, and wish to segregate children in all geographic areas on the basis of creed, class and colour.
COMPARISON OF HOWARD GOVERNMENT RECURRENT FUNDING OF
GOVERNMENT V NON-GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
2006/2007 AND 2007/2008
per capita amount
It is obvious from the above tables which pressure group in Australian Education has captured the Treasury.
In the coming financial year private schools are to receive 4.4 times ( 440%) the increase in recurrent funding provided for government schools. In relative terms they are 4.6 times ( 460%) better off in terms of recurrent funding.
These figures do not take into account capital funding, that is taxpayers money put into private ownership of billions of dollars worth of private property, or indirect taxation expenditures provided in taxation exemptions because private church schools for the rich are "Charities".
One should reflect on the thin end of the wedge principle in relation to federal government activity in education. In 1969/70, when recurrent funding was first introduced, non-government, private schools received $12,177,000.
In the last 38 years this means there has been an explosion of State Aid to private/church schools of over 473 times.
It was estimated that in 2006, 117 church schools would receive more than $5 million each in per capita federal funds alone, and another 120 church schools would receive between $4 million and $5 million in federal recurrent grants in 2006.
3. "THIN END OF THE WEDGE" SCHEMES
Readers should realize the implications of small increases of funding, which become a flood swamping public education with private education.
The thin end of the wedge which prizes open the public sector to federal government domination and privatisation is found in various announcements in Julie Bishop's budget papers. A quick perusal of her Media Release: "Education for Life: Realizing our Potential" indicates this. She has noted that:
in addition to the total funding provided for schools in this year's budget the Australian Government will, from 2009, require that government and non-government education authorities focus on improving school standards and quality including through
Not included in the above was the extension of the literacy "voucher" scheme.
The above adds up to a fractionising, destructive attack on the principles of public education. It points to a wholesale takeover of public education by an aggressive right wing revolutionary government.
The above schemes will enable the Federal Government to destroy public education more quickly than starving the system of funds. The above programs are guaranteed to open the public system up to wholesale privatisation. God Principals are a disaster for teachers, students and public schools.
4. REACTION OF TEACHER UNIONS TO THESE SCHEMES
The Federal AEU commented on the above schemes as follows:
"This budget has more of the same of the ideologically driven initiatives like performance pay and literacy and numeracy vouchers . Tying funding to divisive programs like performance pay will only put a greater administrative burden on schools and wont help to improve student outcomes...
The extension of the literacy voucher schemes means more money again being directed to private tutors who have little or no accountability for student outcomes. This is money which could and should be directed to schools where it is most needed.
The NSW Teachers Federation commented:
"Instead of systematic funding,. the Treasurer, Peter Costello has put forward gimmicks and failed "incentive" schemes. These include :
5. REACTION OF TEACHER UNIONS TO FUNDING
The two strongest Teacher Organisations that promote Public Education , the Federal AEU and the NSW Teachers Federation thankfully, entered the lists. They roundly condemned the Federal Budget. Readers should be aware of some of the Statements made by these two groups.
We refer you to www.nswtf.org.au/media/latest_2007/20070509_budget.html and www.aeufederal.org.au ( Media Release 8 May 2007)
Readers should be aware of some of the statements from these two groups.
a). The NSWTF News Release 9 May 2007 stated that the Budget Betrays our Public School Students as follows::
b). The Australian Education Union Media Release "Public School Students Lose Out Again" stated that :
"Peter Costello's 12th budget will further convince Australian parents that the Howard Government does not care about the nearly 70% of Australian students who attend public schools.
..the budget just underlines the decade of neglect suffered by public schools under the Howard Government.
Public schools need an extra $2.9 billion in recurrent annual funding but there is no attempt in this budget to address the problems which have arisen as a result of that systematic under-funding.
The $ 549 million in wage top-ups for apprentices and apprentice training vouchers will help individuals but does nothing to build the infrastructure our TAFE system needs to properly address Australia's skills shortage.
By skewing funding away from public schools the Howard Government is denying thousands of Australian children this opportunity.
The Howard Government has decreased share of funding for public education from 42% to 35% since they came to power and this budget just continues that decline.
AUSTRALIA NEEDS A GOVERNMENT THAT PUTS A PRIORITY ON PUBLIC EDUCATION"
FOR MORE INFORMATION
LISTEN TO THE DOGS RADIO PROGRAM
3CR 855 ON THE AM DIAL
12.30 p.m. ON Saturdays.
If you have a message for supporters of public education:
Ray Nilsen on
(03) 9326 9277 or (03) 9329 8483
P.O. BOX 4869
Melbourne Victoria Australia 3001
Or complete our feedback form.
|Last modified:Friday, 11 May 2007|