FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 231 #.
14 DECEMBER 2007
TROJAN HORSE PROPOSAL FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF A PRIVATE SCHOOL INTO THE KEILOR PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL
THE VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT MUST PROVIDE, PROMOTE AND DEFEND OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
DOGS supporters who are members of the Keilor Park community received a two page letter dated 27 November 2007 from the President of the Keilor Park Primary School Council in their letter box. They sent it to the DOGS indicating their concern at the implications of the letter. DOGS alert all supporters of public education to the implications of the proposals contained in this letter.
As you read the letter reproduced below, please note:
On the 21st of November 2007 the Keilor Park Primary School Council had their scheduled monthly meeting. We invited the greater school community to join us, as the main topic of our meeting was the future viability of the school.
A Senior Education Officer from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) was invited to discuss various issues concerning the school's opportunities. The conclusion can be made that the DEECD maintains that we as a school cannot provide an adequate education for the students at Keilor park Primary School with the current resources available to us in our 2008 budget. Further, our resources will continue to diminish, which will make it much more difficult to continue to operate a school and provide a valuable education for our students.
For this reason the DEECD has made the decision for Keilor park Primary School that we will be running as a HUB of a bigger school which is yet to be chosen. The school that Keilor Park would be attached to would merely be in control of the day to day management of Keilor Park Primary School. The school will be able to employ two classroom teachers but will not retain a principal. The question was asked at the meeting if the HUB was our only option and it was made clear that operating in this way was our only choice with the current budget that was available to us.
The DEECD are adamant that at present, it is up to each individual School Council to decide the most responsible future direction for our students and the surrounding community. They maintain that the DEECD does not close schools and that any decision regarding closure would be up to School Council.
With that said, there is no reason for us as a School or community to roll over and accept what the DEEC D has to offer us or to be pressured into any decision that would suit solely the interests of the DEECD but not our School or surrounding community.
I have been researching possible options to help create a productive, positive and enriching educational environment for our children, our school and wider community. The best option that has emerged involves working with Moonee Vale Christian School, a non-denominational school.
The model that I propose is that we as a School Council would lease out our unused school buildings to Moonee Vale Christian School so they could start up their school. ( DOGS emphasis) Moonee Vale would teach their core subjects to their own students and our two schools would come together for some specialist subjects such as Art, Music, P.E. as well as interschool sports. At this stage, our students at Keilor Park would currently have a limited range of specialist subjects available to them next year with our reduced resources.
Keilor Park Primary State School will retain its secular identity within the partnership with Moonee Vale Christian School. This model could potentially be operational in 2009.
I think that this is a fantastic opportunity for us to work on creating with Moonee Vale something extraordinary in our very own community! We have the ability to generate a learning environment that is dynamic, energetic and vibrant. Keilor Park Primary School may once again be a bright, bustling and vivacious place of quality which is filled with the activity and buzzing of children. We would be the trail blazers because this model doesn't currently exist on a small scale which is what we would actually be.
This model will take a lot of work to make sure we keep all parties happy but nothing worth doing is ever easy.
The School Council of Keilor Park Primary School will be calling a community meeting at 7.00 p.m. on the 5th December 2007 so the school and surrounding community can hear more details meet the team of Moonee Vale Christian School that hopefully will be part of our great community working together for a fantastic future.
I look forward to seeing you all there.
KEILOR PARK PS SCHOOL COUNCIL PRESIDENT
There is time to fight this proposal:
According to a local paper, The Star, the future of the Keilor Park Primary School is in doubt. ( Primary School's Future in Doubt, The Star, 4 December 2007) The reporter indicates that a Department spokeswoman, Maria Ligerakis, maintained that 'discussions are still in the very early stage. We can confirm that discussions are under way regarding future options for the school. But that is pretty much the stage that it's at now.''
Supporters of Public Education have many questions that need asking about this situation and proposal. The lessons of history teach us that such a proposal must be resoundingly defeated. The proposals breaches a fundamental principle of public education which will lead to the destruction and privatisation of the system itself.
Two hundred years ago James Madison outlined the basic lesson that :Ít is wise to take alarm at the first experiment with fundamental principles. The best defence of a principle is no breach of that principle. It prevents being entangled in arguments about precedents. We quote:
The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the breach of the principle.
DOGS CALL UPON THE VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, BRONWYN PIKE AND HER ADMINISTRATORS TO ADEQUANTELY FUND, PROMOTE AND DEFEND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE KEILOR AREA IN PARTICULAR AND ELSEWHERE IN VICTORIA IN GENERAL
LISTEN TO THE DOGS RADIO PROGRAM
3CR 855 ON THE AM DIAL
12.30 p.m. ON Saturdays.
AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
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
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|Last modified:Friday, 14 December 2007|