AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
PRESS RELEASE 358
PRIVATE SCHOOL FUNDING FIGURES IN THE TOO HARD BASKET
Finally, the reason why Gillard can spit misleading performance figures out on a website, but not produce basic public funding figures for private religious schools, has surfaced in the media.
In a throw-away line in the Sydney Morning Herald Jamuary 29 2010, we discover the following:
State and territory governments and Catholic and independent school authorities agreed a year ago to provide the information but have not yet been able to devise a measure that allows fair comparisons between government, Catholic, and Independent schools.
Although Peter Hill, the chief executive of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which is responsible for the My School website, said data about each school’s financial resources would be published in a second version of the site, along with results from this year’s national literacy and numeracy tests, it will be interesting to see whether the religious men are prepared to open up their trusts so that the public can examine the wealth behind the major religious ‘stakeholders’ in education.
To date the only funding figures on offer are direct grants from the public Treasuries and private income from fees. There are no comparative figures on taxation expenditures in the form of taxation exemptions; no figures on private school endowments; no figures on the incremental costs incurred by public school bureaucracies in provision of education in uneconomic areas; and no separating out of the figures in shared programs.
Nor at any stage has there been any proper accountability for expenditure of public money by the religious bureaucrats, in particular the highly centralized Catholic ‘behemoth’.
Since 1973 with the opening of the flood gates of State Aid, there has never been any proper accountability for the siphoning off of public money for non-educational purposes by the centralized religious bureaucracies. When obvious scandals such as ghost schools, ghost teachers, and ghost pupils, have erupted the issue may be taken up by the media as a one-day wonder, then forgotten
But then, lack of accountability, and statistics damned to mislead are par for the course when you have entanglement of religion with the State.
DEFEND PUBLIC EDUCATION AND STOP STATE AID TO PRIVATE RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS.
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