AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE #20.
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|LATEST NEWS ON 3 CR PROGRAM AUGUST 26 2000|
|1.STATE AID TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS
BACK ON THE AGENDA:
The provision of an extra $50 million extra per year for Australia's 62 wealthiest schools has been the subject of concern for the Shadow Minister for Education and the media.
The figures suggest that the 62 Category 1 schools will get almost an extra $1 million a year each while Government schools will get an average of less than $4000 a year extra over the next four years.
The figures from DETYA indicate that the 62 Category 1 schools will get almost one quarter of the total new funding for Australia's 2,618 private schools - $125 million out of $561 million over four years.
But the total figures going to the private sector, and in particular the Roman Catholic sector are never toted up.
DOGS noted with interest the coverage given by the national Press to this information.
It was buried well back in the Age on page 10, on the left hand side; It was on 5 of the Sydney Morning Herald on the right hand side; it was on the top of page 3 in The Australian, again on the right hand side; and on the front page of the Canberra Times in the right hand column.
The DOGS were not surprised by the treatment meted out by The Age to the State Aid issue.
DOGS quoted from the Canberra Times23.8.2000. It had some interesting aspects, particularly if our listeners and readers consider the statements from the Roman Catholic Education Commission.
" GRAMMAR TO RECEIVE EXTRA $1 M A YEAR
By Emma MacDonald
Canberra Grammar will receive an estimated $1 million extra each year under a Federal Government funding policy which has reignited the 40 year old "state aid" debate.
A Senate inquiry heard yesterday that federal Education Minister David Kemp was handing an estimated $50 million a year extra to the country's 62 wealthiest schools including Melbourne's Geelong Grammar and the King's School in Sydney.
Responding to the Government's States Grants (Primary and Secondary Assistance) Bill 2000, government school groups and state Labor education ministers attacked the new Socio-Economic Status funding mechanism as well as reiterated their opposition to the Enrolment Benchmark Adjustment.
The EBA has been widely criticised by both Labor and Liberal education ministers over the past four years for withdrawing $60 million of Copmmonwealth funding from government schools in line with enrolment growth in the non-government sector.
The new SES funding model will not only continue the funding boost to the non-government sector but is estimated to deliver $50 million to the 62 richest schools. The 1561 schools in the Catholic system will receive only $100 million uinder a modified funding model
(NOTE: THIS IS ON TOP OF THE MORE THAN 3 BILLION THEY ARE ALREADY RECEIVING!)
Revealing divisions within the non-government school sector, the National Catholic Education Commission told the inquiry it had agreed to this modified model - which actually reduces its overall funding - because it believed the SES formula was "inappropriate for Catholic schools".
The SES model uses parents' addresses to assess a school's wealth.
The (Roman Catholic) Commission's chief executive, David de Carvalho, said the commission would continue to use its own formula- based on a school's geographic location, total resource level and size - to redistribute the Government's funds.
'No system is perfect and there are obvious inequalities whichever way we go,' Mr de Carvalho said. The result for Catholic schools as "a reflection of political realities.'
While independent school groups generally supported the new funding mechanism .....the Australian Council of Government School Organisations said the SES model continued a gross "funding bias" towards non-government schoolsPresident Ian Morgan said that...government schools catered for 70 per cent of studentsand almost 90 per cent of students considered most disadvantaged."
DOGS wish to respond to this report as follows:
a) the State Aid debate is not just a 40 year old debate. We quoted from Graham Freudenberg: on Gough Whitlam in politics:
"the oldest, deepest, most poisonous debate in Australian history has been about government aid to Church schools. The myustic incantation "State aid" has broken governors, governments, parties, families and friendships throughout our history.
In 1852 Charles perry, Anglican Bishop of Melbourne wrote:
"The Roman Catholic Church and its Priests are aware of the impossibility of retaining their dominion over the consciences of an intelligent and independent people, such as the inhabitants of Victoria are likely to become. Great therefore in my opinion, is the guilt of assisting to prop up among us this system of ..delusion..."
In 1889 the Catholic Bishops wrote in a pastoral letter:
"This expenditure on godless education, this studding the colony with schools which the Church knows from experience will, in course of time, fill the country with indifferentists, not to speak of absolute infidels, this use of Catholic funds - of taxes paid out of Catholic pockets...to sap the foundations of Christianityt is an act so galling to every feeling of fair-play, that we do not see how any free man, with any spirit in him, can allow it to pass unchallenged...it is a system of practical paganism."
2.UP TO DATE INFORMATION ON ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND THEIR NOW EXTENSIVELY PUBLICLY FUNDED SCHOOLS
DOGS noted with interest the report in the Sunday Age 20 August 2000 about the Catholic Church's controversial religious education textbooks. Parents, who have become used to public funding of schooling are bulking at paying for the religious education of their children!
However, Monsignor Elliott, a Catholic vicar appointed by Archbishop Pell to oversee the development of the religious textbooks, was reported as follows:
"The priority in any Catholic school is to teach the Catholic faith. That's the bottom line".
This statement mirrors that of the Archbishop in KAIROS 20-27 August 2000. At the blessing of the Australian Catholic University he was reported as saying...
"..a Catholic primary or secondary school, where there are often regular compulsory prayers, occasional community worship and compulsory education in the basics of the faith and morals and the reasons for Catholic claims in faith and morals."
DOGS note the difference between these statements and those made in the DOGS High Court case Trial of Facts. In those days, in 1979, when the catholic Church was seeking to prove that they were no more religious than State Schools in case their funding was proved unconstitutional they said: (Statement on Behalf of Defendants National Council of Independent5 Schools and Rev Father F.M. Martin p. 28)
" 2.2.18 The fact is that Catholic schools in Australia are not conducted for religious or confessional purposes...the work they do is school work...it is a travesty to take one element for forensic purposes and give that a prominence which it does not have in fact."
3. PROTESTS UNDER THE GUN
DOGS has been instrumental in exposing recent extraordinary developments in Canberra. The Defence legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill 2000 which has passed the House of Representatives on 28 June 2000 and is due to be passed in the Senate in the next Parliamentary sitting contravenes centuries of hard won principles .
Our forefathers fought to separate the military from the civil authority. Now the military can be called out by the Commonwealth if they consider there is "domestic violence" or even the possibility of it. It is alleged that this is being passed for the World Economic Forum and the Olympics.
If this is the case, where is the sunset clause.
The constitutionality of this legislation is highly questionable. But who will take it to the High Court?
Mr Howard is reported ( Herald -Sun 23.8.2000) as "being relaxed about the new powers."...He said:
"Can I say the idea of ever using the army in an ordinary civilian disturbance situation is anathema to me"
Mr Howard's use of "ever" is of interest. Does it mean "never" or, after our GST experience, does it mean never ever- whenever?
If you have a message for supporters of public education:
Ray Nilsen on
(03) 9326 9277 or Fax: (03) 9326 9180
P.O. BOX 4869
Melbourne Victoria Australia 3001
Or complete our feedback form.
|Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005|