15-19 MAY 2006


 The questions we need to raise about public * school education are the most crucial and fundamental questions that can be used about our society. We are getting to the heart of the kind of society in which we wish to live, as well as the kind of society in which we wish our children to live.

The great issues surrounding public  school education are really great issues of public policy.

The role of education is so central to the making of a free, liberal and democratic heterogeneous society that education is the most important business in civil society and universal accessibility to public education is fundamental to success in this endeavour.

The key to the survival of a cohesive, liberal, and heterogeneous democracy is connected to the survival of public education.

The public (government) school and public (government) education systems are inextricably bound up with the modern "liberal" state, with a modern "liberal" political philosophy that attempts to achieve "liberal" values of liberty, equality, justice, fraternity, popular consent, and the obligation for the public good and the general welfare.

Public school education stands for and assists in achieving a viable and just community. The strongest possible public school education is needed  for the continuation of a viable, democratic and heterogeneous community. Let no one doubt that if there is to be a twilight of the liberal public school and public education systems, that twilight will also be the twilight of the modern liberal/democratic state whose values are freedom, equality, justice, fraternity, the working of popular consent and the personal obligation for the public good.

It is no accident that the corruption of politics and the bureaucracy in Australia is occurring when private school education is at its highest penetration in the school population. Church schools are a cancer in the body politic.

The questions surrounding the existence and maintenance of public schools, State Aid to private church schools and the existence of private schools are issues which are closely intertwined. One cannot discuss one of these questions without that discussion having implications either directly or indirectly on the other two aspects.

The changes in one aspect have effects on the other two areas.


* In some States of Australia public schools are otherwise known as "State" or "government" schools. In Victoria and some other states, private, overwhelmingly church schools have sometimes been mistakenly described as "public". New South Wales has the right idea. There public schools are genuinely public.



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Last modified:Friday, 26 May 2006