<%@ Master language="C#" %> PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS WONT LOSE THEIR HOUSES BECAUSE OF PRIVATE SCHOOL FEES
 
 

 

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL

FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.

PRESS RELEASE 290#.

19 MARCH  2009 

 PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS DONT LOSE THEIR HOUSES

BECAUSE OF SCHOOL FEES

  

Public Education is free, secular and universal. It is not only open to all children. Parents who "choose" to give their children the well rounded education available in community schools are in no danger of being pursued for unpaid fees.

Pity the poor Australian parents who have been taken in by the aggressive advertising of private religious schools. Pity the poor parents who in the good times believed that they could "choose" the first class ticket to heaven and the good job for their offspring. Look at what is now happening in the early stages of the depression created by the neo-liberal promotors of choice'.

Is the 'Choice' worth the House?

The Sydney Morning Herald of February 7 2009, published a report entitled Schools Seize Homes over Fees.  DOGS quote:

 Every week parents of private school students are losing their homes to bankruptcy actions taken by cash-strapped schools that can no longer wait for overdue fees.

There has been a 25 per cent increase in schools pursuing debtors to bankruptcy in the past year, said Roger Mendelson, the chief executive of Prushka, a debt collection agency that represents more than 400 private schools.

He said that as a result across the nation a few homes every week' were sold by trustees.

Mr Mendelson said the number would undoubtedly grow. ..He estimated that many schools were carrying "seriously overdue "fee debts of between $1 million and $2 million. Some parents owed $70,000. ...

The crucial distinction between public and private education was succinctly enunciated by the chief executive of Christian Schools Australia, Stephen O'Doherty. He was reported as saying:

The need to use debt collectors arose from time to time. Parents enrolling a child at any tightly budgeted, independent school had entered a contract. ..An education was provided in return for a set fee. Stand-alone schools are set up as independent companies. The directors have a legal responsibility to ensure the financial health of the school.

Disgruntled Consumers:

DOGS also refer reader to the experience of the Mears family who sent their children to Roseville College in Sydney. On March 10, 2009, the Sydney Morning Herald reported their experience as follows:

Sydney couple is being sued for refusing to pay thousands of dollars in fees for their daughters'private school education after their eldest girl  "bombed'her Higher School Certificate results.

Grant and Gloria Mears owe Roseville College more than $20,000 in tuition fees and late-payment penalties but have refused to pay the money.

....Mr Mears represented the couple during a hearing at the Downing Centre Local Court yesterday and is claiming his daughters Anna, 20, Courtney, 18, Olivia, 16 and Harriet, 15 were not afforded the academic "level of excellence"or tghe support expected of such a school...


Outside court Mr Mears said he and his wife had chosen to send their daughters to Roseville College because the school had promised excellence. We didn't pay $200,000 at this school to get a minimal education; we paid for an enhanced education,"' he said.

The Need for our Public System if our Children are Going to Get an Education at all

The report in The Age of March 15 2009 entitled Keeping it Private indicates that former private school parents should now be thanking people like the DOGS, the Australian Education Union, the New South Wales Teachers Federation and various State School Parents organisations around Australia who for the last 50 years have struggled to keep the public system from being destroyed by the private school lobby.

The Age report indicates that another financial expert, who has spent the past few months working closely with the business managers of several private schools confirms they are in turmoil. Not only are parents withdrawing students but many schools are losing huge numbers of new enrolments.

'People are walking away from the deposits they have paid to these schools and putting their children into state schools instead' they said.

Fortunately, we still have public schools in this country that can and will welcome children of any and every class, colour, and creed. There is no question of the ability of their parents to pay. Nor should they be excluded.  Education in the public system is a right. It is without price. It is the gift of men and women who have fought long and hard, and against the the odds through the centuries to make it so.

 

 

 

 

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AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT  SCHOOLS

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Last modified:Thursday, 19 March 2009