Press Releases

Are Churches Wealthy Enough to Pay for their Own Schools? ( 24 August 2013 )

Press Release 523

As taxpayers look askance at wealthy church schools crying poor all the way to the bank and the next playing field, three crucial questions should be asked:

Federal Election 2013: State Aid Auction: Catholic Education Clear Winner (15.08.2013)

Press Release 522

The Catholic Education sector has been handsomely reimbursed for signing up to the federal Government’s education reforms.

Their ‘bad behaviour’ and blatant lack of accountability has been generously rewarded.

· On top of the increasing billions in : basic funding grants; capital grants; taxation exemptions - not to mention SES overpayments to weathy schools - The Catholic system is expected to receive $1.6 billion of extra funding over the next six years. $1 billion comes from the federal government.

Abandoned Public Schools Occupied by Muslim Schools

Press Release 521

As public schools are starved of funds and abandoned, aggressive religious groups are happy to take them over.

There are two obvious examples: One in Mernda, Victoria, the other in Spence, Canberra.

SCHOOL AUTONOMY: DISINTEGRATION OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

Press Release 520

As the Catholic Education system becomes more and more centralised and ramps up its lobbying expertise at public expense, so attacks on the nerve systems of our public education systems continues apace. Where central public education administrations have not been taken over by private school advocates, they will be dispersed. Madness!
Both parties, Liberal and Labour, are committed to the isolation of public schools from a centralised support system. They are turning them into ‘independent schools.’ This represents the death knell for our proud systems of public education which have distributed educational opportunities to so many disadvantaged children in so many far flung places.

How the Religious State Operates within the Australian Secular State ( 10.07.2013)

Press Release 519

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

PRESS RELEASE 519#

HOW THE RELIGIOUS STATE OPERATES
WITHIN THE AUSTRALIAN SECULAR STATE
10 July 2013
The new Federal Education Minister is Bill Shorten.
What is his Educational Background?
Bill Shorten was born in Melbourne, where his father was a waterside worker and union official. His mother was a lawyer and university academic. He was educated at Xavier College and Monash University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. Wikipedia
So Bill Shorten, like Abbott and Pyne will be able to use his old boy Jesuit networks to get around the snags surrounding the Gonski reforms.The State Aid auction is on again.
Bill Shorten and Kevin Rudd are entering into the usual Catholic backroom deals. The majority suffer to appease the minority.
Already the Catholic system has gained the ability to move money around within their school system and the Gonski idea of education funding following a disadvantaged student wherever they attend school will not be adhered to in the Catholic system. They will also receive about $3 billion extra over the next six years. ( AFR 4 July 2013) This means that any hope of a a transparent, equitable system based on individual need has gone-ski.
The Catholic Church has become an imperium in imperio – a State within a State – holding governments to ransom.
The Catholic Church and the Needs Policy
DOGS have followed the Catholic ‘management’ of ‘Needs’ policies of all government since the Whitlam Govenrment’s Karmel Committee fiasco in 1973. Perhaps the most extraordinary was the deal they struck with Howard’s SES system.
For the Catholic Church ‘the poor will always be with us’ but they can be the responsibility of the public system.

In 2013, forty years after the State Aid floodgates opened, the ‘needs’ of the institution known as the Catholic church must be met before any funding can flow to disadvantaged children in the public sector.
What is surprising is that journalists are finally prepared to remark upon it. Consider the article by Tim Dodd in the Australian Financial Review of Monday 8 July 2013.
He notes that the Catholic system provides a lesson to governments on how to run an efficient education system on $8000 a student in public subsidy. He leaves out the indirect and capital grants that are also taxpayer funded but notes that ‘you also need to bear in mind that, unlike public schools, Catholic schools do not have to accept all children who apply, which does make a difference to school performance.’
How has the Catholic church system got to its favoured position, with at least 77% public funding, when other religious schools allegedly only receive 45% of their income from governments? he asks.
The way the Catholic school system has got to the influencial position it has today is a study in successful political manoeuvring.
Until 1970, no non-government schools received recurrent funding in Australia. But the tap was opened fully when the Whitlam government introduced needs-based funding. Since then, the Catholic church has negotiated skilfully, notably in a deal with the Howard government in 2004.
The growth in government funding for Catholic schools over the past four decades has enabled them to move away from a non-professional teaching staff mainly composed of nuns and brothers to the professional system they have today.
Now, as federal Labor negotiates its Better Schools plan ( formerly known as Gonski) the Catholics are an objectlesson. They are not going public, as are the groups representing other independent shools,. But they are quietly negotiating, as they always have, with a keen eye for political opportunity.
Once the Church is involved, you can forget about
• Accountability, honesty and openness
• Genuine Christian concern for the disadvantaged in the community unless there is money in it
• Democratic procedures.
Once the church, the State within a State is involved, you can forget about ‘reforms’ to public funding in Australia. You are only looking at ‘deforms’. You are looking at ‘deals’ done behind closed doors in the corridors of power

Private Schools and Sweet Charity : Education a Right or a Charity?

Press Release 518

The hidden ‘State Aid’ to private schools in Australia, the cash which provides ever more opulent resources to enhance their market profile, is gained through ‘CHARITABLE’ TAXATION EXEMPTIONS .

This is made possible by the mediaeval view taken in Charities law that education, is a ‘charity’ not a ‘right.’

A cashed-up private school like Geelong Grammar a charity case? you ask. Well — Yes.

Do Church Schools Really Need Government Money? (07.06.2013)

Press Release 517

Australian churches are supported by the taxpayer though tax-exemptions as “charities” and their tax-exempt schools also receive substantial direct grants from the taxation citizens pay: a double whammy. The church schools always want more, but the churches themselves are not prepared to reveal their accounts to show that additional public funds are in fact needed. Author of The Purple Economy, Dr Max Wallace* reveals what is known about this murky situation and suggests a way to clear up the financial secrecy.

We All Lose When we Separate our Children at the School Gate ( 26.05.2013)

Press Release 515

DOGS defend and promote public education because it is the only system which is open to all children. It is the cornerstone of a democracy. When it is encouraged with billions of dollars of taxpayer funds the private sectarian system cuts across and undermines the public system. It is the basis of a plutocracy, an aristocracy or worst of all, a theocracy.

Many of our public schools are inspiring.But the edge is taken off our pleasure when we observe the neglected infrastructure and the increasing indeed chronic unfairnesses of our Australian society.

What is the answer ?

Choice of Public Education Education under threat in Australia ( 14.05.2013)

Press Release 514

Many parents wishing to enrol their children in public schools throughout Australia are confronted with a choice between Buckleys and None. Australian conservative governments no longer accept responsibility for the entitlement of EVERY Australian child to a public secondary education.

Pages

Subscribe to Press Releases