13 FEBRUARY   2008





Since the beginning of 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald  has once again bitten the bullet of  State Aid : the public funding of Church Schools

Since the lead article on page 1 of  the Sydney Morning Herald of February 9, 2008, entitled 'How Private Schools owe the taxpayer $2 Billion'  two further articles  appeared on February 11, 2008 entitled 'Loophole keeps Schools in Clover' by Anna Patty, Education Editor and  ' In Black and White the Unfairness of School Funding 'by Gerard Noonan.

Then, the next day on February 12, 2008 Anna Patty, Education Editor, wrote a further article entitled 'Rudd to Review School Funding', and the same day the Sydney Morning Herald published an editorial appeared entitled 'No Marks for School Funding'.

So, in the space of five days the Sydney paper produced four articles and one editorial on what  has been described as the potato which is now burning white hot. There has been nothing mealy mouthed about the exposure of one of the biggest rorts of taxpayer money since the bottom of the harbour schemes . For instance the 12 February editorial commented as follows:

The leak to the Herald of a confidential Department of Education document has revealed what everyone associated with educational funding has known for some time; that the system under which federal funds are allocated to private schools is broken and needs wholesale reform. What is new is the detail: from the department's findings we can now see just how bad matters have become.

The Herald is correct. DOGS have been attempting to expose the bottom of the schoolyard schemes since the State Aid debacle began in the 1960s. The so-called  'Needs' policy' introduced by Whitlam to muddy the State Aid waters has always been a 'Greeds' policy.

So public school supporters in Sydney have been informed about the scandalous nature of State Aid.

The Age Runs Dead in Early February 2008

The Age has been true to form. Silent. There are no ripples on the deep waters of the State Aid funding of Church Schools in Victoria. DOGS challenge any reader or listener to our radio program to produce any evidence to the contrary from February 9 to February 13, 2008.

DOGS commend the Sydney Morning Herald and thank the New South Wales Teachers Federation for exposing what happens when religious administrators get their fingers into the public Treasury. While Public Schools require more than $2 Billion dollars for basic educational facilities wealthy churches duplicating those  facilities have been overpaid by  at least $2 Billion dollars.

The Age also Silent in 2006

The Sydney Morning Herald  first exposed the nature of the closed funding enquiry initiated in the federal Department of Education on 9 August 2006. DOGS noted in our News Release 163 ( )the following:

 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 was 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."


Readers of  this 13 February 2008 News Release 238 and residents of Victoria and readers of The Age will note the ongoing failure of  this paper to reveal the State Aid funding rort together with its deleterious effect on our public education system and democratic principles of public accountability . The Age is also providing opportunities for people like Professor Brian Caldwell, Professor Jack Keating, John Roskam, and the Educational Foundation, none of whom are promoters of a genuine, secular public education system. ( See our Definition of Public Education at ) Since DOGS complaints have been ignored by the Press Council of Australia and we can only get coverage in expensive Advertisements, - DOGS consider that for public education The Age is a sick joke.

The failure of The Age to deal with the rorting of the taxpayers dollar since the 1960s is the operation of the cancer in the Body Politic - the entanglement of the Church in the Fourth Estate.







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Last modified:Wednesday, 13 February 2008