AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 76#.
|Statistics||Home||The Latest News||Contents||The High Court Case||Feedback|
CALL TO SENATORS TO ASK QUESTIONS AT SENATE ESTIMATES COMMITTEE NOVEMBER 5, 2003.
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR STATE AIDS?
WILL THE GREENS HAVE THE SAME COURAGE THEY HAD WITH RECENT VISITORS TO RAISE THIS MATTER?
The Australian Council for the Defence of Government Schools totally opposes State Aid to private religious schools. Church schools have proved themselves to be a cancer in the body politic.
The original drafter of the Australian Constitution, Andrew Inglis Clark, expressed his concern in a discussion in the mid 1880s on State Aid. He referred to the danger of
"an Imperium in Imperio"
He was right to be concerned. We now have it in the private school funding area with an almost complete failure in public accountability for private school funding.
Call to Greens or any other Group to Give Australian Citizens at Least Some Accountability
Democratic procedures, and we, as citizens demand that there be a proper detailed report under Section 116 of the Act as it was in the beginning in 1970
Decline in Information from First Federal State Aid Per Capita Report
For four years (1970-1973) the Commonwealth Department of Education per capita State Aid Report listed federal aid school by school by number of primary and secondary school pupils and their total per capita grants and amounts received in each category. (See Attachment A) However, in the Schools Commissions First Report (1974) (See Attachment B) crucial data of pupil numbers was eliminated but accountability was still kept in terms of total grants to individual schools.
Obviously, this enabled the Schools Commission and Church Schools to mask what was really occurring to expenditure of public money.
Nevertheless, the Schools Commission kept accountability school by school. So, for the first 28 years of Federal per capita State Aid, from 1970 to 1997, the public were provided with a public document that revealed total direct funding of each individual school.
However, since 1998 there has been a radical decline. There was a revolutionary change. There is now a secret deal existing between Church and State so that the public is not aware of what is going on. The decline in public reporting can be illustrated by comparing the 1997 Green Book with that of 1998.
1997 Report: Total number of pages: 92
Pages for individual school in States and Territories: 62
Pages for individual schools in NSW: 20
Pages for individual schools in Victoria: 16
1998 Report: Total number of pages: 26
Pages for individual schools in States and Territories: 8
Pages for individual schools in NSW: 1
Pages for individual schools in Victoria: 1
Since 1998 only the truncated Green Book has been produced.
The situation is a national disgrace.
The dramatic collapse in public information is willfully concealing what is really going on and also prevents any possibility of revealing much of the skullduggery, which is State Aid to Private schools.
Stop this Abdication and Abnegation: Demand Proper Accountability:
Our elected representatives should reinstate school by school analysis giving pupil and funding details, as was provided in the 1970-1973 Reports. (See Attachment C)
Stop the Amount of Information on State Aid Being in Inverse Proportion to the Amount Given:
Consistency is required Dr. Brendan Nelson.
Lets be consistent Dr. Brendan Nelson. In your Media Release on 10 September 2003, (Min458/03), you wrote that,
"to increase the level of transparency I am also proposing to include, in the annual Report to Parliament required under the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000, details of financial assistance granted to each State under the Act. This will include details of expenditure for capital projects at the individual school level and location."
Senators, if this is to be done for capital expenditure on say $1 million, shouldnt it be done for recurrent expenditures whatever the amount might be. Such accountability is the basis of our democracy. We also point out that we are now looking at billions of dollars in recurrent funding with virtually no accountability. We refer you to comments below.
Transparency, Transparency, Mr. Peter Costellos Example
The Treasurer, Mr Peter Costello wants transparency for corporate executive salaries so that everyone knows what each executive gets.
Mr Costello, and Dr. Brendan Nelson, what about transparency in federal expenditure on private church schools?
Come, on Senators it is more than time that a stand was made on this !
Lack of Public Accountability is now Spreading to Pupil and School Statistics
We ask Senators to have a look at the Australian Bureau of Statistics publication, Schools, Australia, 4221.0
Compare, for instance the 2000 Report and the latest Report 2002.
The 2000 Report: 129 pages with 114 pages of tables
The 2002 Report: 40 pages with 28 pages of tables
What a disgrace.
We look forward to your doing something about it if Parliamentary democracy has any life left in it.
Working the System
Historical Background: How Good is it for Private Schools with this Lack of Accountability?
Very early in the State Aid grab, the major beneficiary in the State Aid auction was the Roman Catholic sector. They soon woke up to the lamentable weakness of those who were supposed to protect the public interest. For instance, they recognized the financial benefit of
DOGS Do Not Have to Quote Themselves and their Predictions in the 1970s and 1980s.
DOGS only need to point to some statements of people involved with the Schools Commission as well as the Roman Catholic bureaucracy.
Statement by Dr. Ken McKinnon ( Karmel Committee, Chairman Schools Commission 1974-81):
"It (the needs policy) is not illegal, just slippery. It expected everybody to play the game by the declared rules Its like income tax everybody maneuvers themselves to benefit in the best possible way." (National Times 29 August 4 September 1982.)
Another Statement by Dr. K. McKinnon :
" As chair of the Schools Commission, Dr. McKinnon was particularly concerned with the inability of some sectors of Catholic Education to demonstrate their accountability in respect of Commonwealth funding. He was very critical of parish priests control over the money, and the lack of knowledge and involvement of the principals in the financial matters of the school. While he accepted the principal of financial support for non-government schools, he was not in favour of block funding, because in some Catholic systems, the distribution of money did not actually ensure that the most needy schools got the most resources. He maintained that, while Victoria developed a rationale for distribution of money based on need, it was impossible for the Schools Commission to penetrate what was happening in New South Wales. "
(Report of Interview, 1994 in A. OBrien, Blazing the Trail, p. 141)
Statement of J. Kirner ( Schools Commissioner 1974-78and later Premier of Victoria)
"It isnt sufficient to say that we will give aid according to need. We know that the needs policy can be bastardized by even a group as honest as the Schools Commission (Victorian Teacher 2 April 1983 p. 13)
Comment of Dr. Peter Tannock, Karmel Committee, Schools Commission Member 1974-79, Chairman 1980-1984, Director of Catholic Education and Chair of Catholic Education Commission WA 1985-1992.
As a result of an interview with Dr. Peter Tannock, the following was reported:
"Dr. Peter Tannock believes block funding determined not just the qualitative improvements but the kind of State Aid system which emerged in Australia which, by world standards is amazing. 80% of the public funding is received with virtually no conditions "
Interview report in A. OBrien, Blazing the Trail, p. 121.
Statement by Brother Kelvin Canavan, Director of Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Sydney for many years.
"There is a realization that the arrangements in Australia are better than most existing in most if not all other countries. In order to maintain widespread community support for non-government school funding, the leadership of Catholic Education has to manage skillfully the occasional debate in the Press on the funding of non-government schools.
Report in Catholic Weekly January 2000.
An Interchange at the Senate Hearing Tuesday 22 August 2000 reported in Committee Hansard at EWRSBE 11
Senator Allison: Does this process need to be ticked off by the Commonwealth government? What are your reporting requirements in terms of the rationale and the actual dollars?
Mrs Temby: (Member National Catholic Education Commission): It is available for the Commonwealth if they wish to have it. In recent times, they have not asked for the detail."
DOGS CALLS UPON SENATORS TO USE THE SENATE COMMITTEE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE COMMONWEALTH ASK FOR RELEVANT DETAILS AND THAT THE PUBLIC HAVE FULL ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION.
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|