AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
PRESS RELEASE 355
RUDD SENSITIVE TO SHORTCOMINGS OF
MY SCHOOL WEBSITE
1 FEBRUARY 2010
The glaring faults in the data provided by the government’s League Tables in the My School Website has drawn further promises from a government sensitive to concerns of public school parents and teachers in election year.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has reacted by saying that a re-elected Labor government would expand the range of data on the website by publishing surveys of parents and breakdowns of funding for each school. (‘Better website if re-elected’ Financial Review, 1 February 2010)
Citizens and taxpayers should keep him to his promise of the breakdown of funding for each school before the election. It is a national scandal that accountability for public funding and transparency concerning the total resources available to the so-called independent and Catholic sector have never been produced. Nor is there any certainty that direct funding based upon enrolment figures are correct. The auditor general has pointed to glaring holes in the accountability procedures of the federal educational bureaucracy.
It is more than time that the taxation expenditures in the form of exemptions (most particularly exemptions from payroll tax) were added to the total public propping up of the private sector. These should be placed alongside real estate, investments and endowments of the various religious establishments which own and control private schools.
If Kevin Rudd cannot impose proper regulation and accountability on the private educational sector and make their total resources a matter of public knowledge, then the ownership, control and accountability for private religious schools should be taken over by the government and their resources made accessible to all children. In other words, publicly funded educational institutions should be public in every way.
DEFEND PUBLIC EDUCATION AND STOP STATE AID TO PRIVATE RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS.
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