FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 226 #.
2 NOVEMBER 2007
CARDINAL GEORGE PELL, RUDD, SMITH, HOWARD,
Last month, before the announcement of the Federal election date, (November 24, 2007), the Australian Education Union (AEU) released new research as evidence of a growing division of children in Australian schools.
The AEU commissioned researcher, Barbara Preston, to update her earlier work by using 2006 census data. See www.aeufederal.org.au/, go to What's new and scroll down to The Social Makeup of Schools. . The 31 page report is entitled The Social Makeup of Schools, (Family income, religion, indigenous status and family type in government catholic and other non-government schools) and was released on 13 October 2007.
According to the Federal President of the Australian Education Union, Pat O'Byrne, the research indicated that high income families were increasingly sending their children to private schools and low income families were increasingly sending their children to government schools. In government schools 40 per cent of students are in low income families. In catholic schools 25 per cent are in low income families and in other private schools, only 22 per cent are in low income families. The president further indicated that research indicated that the ratio of low income families to high income families has increased in public primary schools from 1 in 21 in 1996 to 1 in 35 in 2006 and in private schools has declined from 0.57 to 0.52.
Is this extraordinary difference the reason why Cardinal Pell supported Rudd getting rid of the Needs Policy? If these figures are any indication, it is the government schools that should be drawing in the Needs money and there should be Church Aid for State Schools.
A further reading of Barbara Preston's report at page 7, reveals that the difference in the uptake of very low income families is far worse. We quote:
'The difference is even greater for those in very low income families ( a weekly income of less than $350.00 or less than $650.00 where the percentage in government schools is around twice the percentage in either catholic or other non-government schools. '
Howard and Bishop Widening the Divide
John Howard and his various Minister of Education have deliberately made the situation worse since Howard came to office in 1996. For instance, in 2001, the federal government changed its formula for funding private/church schools by no longer taking into account the resources available to a particular school. The federal government funding of schools was not based on the wealth of each family whose child attended a particular school but on the average income of the people from community where these families lived. Of course, church schools were advantaged because overwhelmingly the average income of their students' families was much higher than the average of all the families in the area. The poorer families attended the local government schools and their poverty was used to increase the privileges of their wealthier neighbours.
Moreover, the schools that would lose funding under the new formula were informed that their funding would be maintained anyway. It should be further noted that the Howard governments have repeatedly cut the share of public funding going to public schools.
As Pat Byrne commented in the AEU Press Release of 13 October 2007,
'It (the Howard Government) has refused to allocate funding on the basis of need and we now have a situation where government schools received 35 per cent of federal funding yet teach almost 70 per cent of the students. Working families are being let down by the Howard government which is pouring money into the schools that need it least. '
Rudd and Smith Agree with the Coalition: Dumping of the 35 Year Old Needs Policy
The ALP represented by Rudd and Smith have engaged in
secret deals with the Church School interests and dumped the Needs policy
which would have resulted in more assistance going to government
schools. Instead of keeping the Needs policy they have come clean in
another fawning me-tooism and adopted the Coalition's SES policy into at
second decade of the twenty first century.
Because they, like Mr Howard, cant see past Cardinal Pell, Archbishop Jensen, and the leaders of other religious groups.
(For further information on Rudd and Smith see Press Release 185 www.adogs.info/pr185.htm, Press Release 201 www.adogs.info/pr201.htm, Press Release 202 www.adogs.info/pr202.htm. Press Release 203 www.adogs.info/pr203.htm, and Press Release 223 www.adogs.info/pr223.htm)
Cardinal Pell Supports Rudd, Smith, Howard and Bishop and Handicaps the Poorest of his Flock.
In an earlier News Release '224 ( www.adogs.info/pr224.htm )DOGS outlined the happiness of Cardinal Pell at the turnaround of Rudd and Smith with their acceptance of his favoured educational policy.
Maree O'Halloran from the New South Wales Teachers Federation put it on the line to Cardinal Pell in the Sydney Morning Herald on October 13, 2007. She challenged the support of Cardinal Pell for the Labor Party's backing of the Liberal's funding policy and declared
Cardinal Pell appears to have forgotten that most of his flock are in public schools...I'd like to see Cardinal Pell talking about extra funding for public schools as an issue of providing the highest quality education for every child.
Maree O'Halloran was in no doubt remembering the information from Barbara Preston's work in which she revealed that fifty five per cent of students from low income catholic families attended government schools both at the primary and secondary level.
Clearly, if Cardinal Pell wishes to help the majority of the poorest of his flock he should be supporting public education instead of supporting funding that favours the richer schools.
CARDINAL PELL, HOWARD, BISHOP, RUDD, SMITH: CHANGE YOUR PRIORITIES TO PUBLIC EDUCATION AND THE PUBLIC GOOD.
It is time that Australian politicians and priests mend their ways and cease their supporting of funding policies that divides children on the basis of class and creed. They should adhere to basic human if not Christian values and support the poorer children in our community, our public education systems, and the common good. Pell, Howard and Rudd should heed the advice provided by the Federal AEU president, Pat Byrne in her call on 13 October 2007 :
Public schools are the mainstay of our education system and they do not pick and choose the students that attend them.
The costs of providing a high quality education are going to b e higher when you have parents less able to fund their child's education in and outside of schools.
Students from low-income families often require more intensive schooling and support
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AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
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|Last modified:Friday, 02 November 2007|