15 August 2006



 Julie Bishop's closed federal private school funding inquiry is yet another example of the problem of a State within a State, with the "Church" State calling the secular State to account rather than the other way around.

It is interesting to note that the information on this private school funding inquiry comes from the Sydney Morning Herald and the New South Wales Teachers Federation. D.O.G.S. are unable to find any reference to it in The Age,or the Australian. Nor has the issue had any airing that we have heard on any other radio program than the D.O.G.S. program on 3CR.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald of 9 August 2006, p. 5

  • Public schools will be locked out of the Inquiry or Review

  • The Federal Government promised in May 2006 to release the terms of reference for an external inquiry. However, no terms of reference had been released by 8 August 2006.

  • The Inquiry or Review will now be conducted internally by the Department of Education, Science and training - behind closed doors.

  • The Inquiry or Review will run from Monday 14 August to Wednesday 6 September 2006, with a final report expected by the end of the year.

  • Only beneficiaries of the State Aid largesse have been invited to make submissions to the internal inquiry.

  • So-called "Independent" School representatives told the Sydney Morning Herald, "it (the Federal Government) had decided against opening a Pandora's Box of criticism from public education advocates."

The New South Wales Teachers Federation attacked the Government's inquiry in any case, as a "sham", and as "having a veil of secrecy." The Federation called on the Federal Minister to release the terms of reference so that there can be a publicly accountable process into the funding of private schools. They called upon the Minister to commit to the AEU's additional 2.9 billion dollar claim representing the current annual shortfall for public school funding.

The New South Wales Teachers Federation further declared that:

"A primary commitment to public education must be the absolute priority of all governments. Our great public schools can be even greater with proper government investment."

Even the conservative Sydney Morning Herald of 11 August 2006 is very unhappy with the inquiry. In part, they declared:

"To exclude outside participation makes the inquiry look a partisan and biased operation conducted for the benefit of one privileged group of schools, at the expense of another, less privileged."

This inquiry represents the operation of a State within a State. It is the rule of the Church School Faction by the Church School faction for the Church School Faction. It is making sure that Caesar's wife reports only to Caesar, or the fox looks over the chickens - or the robber looks after the bank - as well as laughing all the way there.

Supporters of the Church School Faction - Julie Bishop and the self selected bureaucrats will sit in judgment on the submissions from the church school faction. What a sick joke accountability for public money procedures have become with our federal governments.

Yet the Church school benefit inquiry is not dealing with small amounts of public money. They are not like the poor aborigines and they do not get the treatment meted out to ATSIC.

On the contrary they are dealing with many billions of dollars annually. Federal Church school funding at the time of the 2006 Budget was projected for the 2005/2006 year to be $5.393 billion. By 2009/10 it is projected to be $6.967 billion. These figures only include direct federal funding. They do not include State government grants nor indirect subsidies such as "charitable" exemptions ( otherwise known as taxation expenditures).

From the very beginning, the funding of church schools has been a case of the taxpayer being done over by the church school faction again and again. This inquiry is just further evidence.

The latest funding version known as the S.E.S. (Socio Economic Status) system is a corrupted version of the Labor Party Needs Policy which the D.O.G.S. described in the 1970s as encouraging "bottom of the schoolyard schemes". See our News Releases: 143;145; and 148 and our statistics section. ( ; ;; )

We also suggest that you visit the Australian Education Union website on

Not surprisingly, various church schools are taking the opportunity with this inquiry to seek increased funding. Other wealthy private schools are also intending to keep what they are getting in spite of their funding being in breach of even the badly flawed S.E.S. system

If we are to have even the semblance of a democratic state with proper accountability for public moneys, State Aid to Church Schools should cease. If it is not stopped, the pillars in our society only get taller and greater in circumference. Social and religious divisions will multiply. For those playing power games, divide and rule begins at school - with a vengeance when our children are separated from birth -into schools, into private universities, into favored employment - and that first class ticket to heaven!










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Last modified:Tuesday, 15 August 2006