The Victorian Education Budget: A Moveable Feast of Figures

Press Release 654

DOGS, as usual, discover that Government Budget papers are designed to obfuscate rather than inform taxpaying citizens.
How much is Public Education worth to the Victorian government – really?

The Age, April 27 claims that the 2016 Victorian Government funding budget provides $1.1 billion for education. The Australian April 28 mentions $924 million and the Treasurer at says :
$747 million from the start of the 2016 year .

Malcolm Turnbull wishes to only Fund Private Education so Funding of Public Education has just become a key election issue.

Press Release 651

Funding of Public Education, as opposed to private sectarian education has just become a key election issue.

Last week Mr Turnbull said that, if state governments were given a share of income tax revenue, the federal government could withdraw from funding public schools, while continuing to fund non-government schools.

His thought bubble was pricked by State Governments at COAG. The Labor Party and the electorate reacted. Opinion polls turned against the Coalition.

The Federation has been under fiscal strain and unbalanced since the Second World War when income tax was taken from the States by the federal government. But the States resisted Turnbull’s temptation.


The End of Public Education: The Corporate Reform Agenda to Privatise Education: David Hursh

Press Release 650

Supporters of public education in Australia are not alone in their concern that mega-rich oligarchs and religious establishments are engaged in an all-out assault on one of our most basic democratic institutions. The problem has been recently analysed by David W. Hursh in a recently published book.

David Hursh’s new book ‘The End of Public Education: The Corporate Reform Agenda to Privatize Education, Routledge, 2016, 123 pp., $49.95.

is a devastating, spot-on, detailed, documented survey of the crescendoing assault on public education, teachers and teacher unions.

Victorian Catholic Education Commission : A Self-Regulated System Favouring High SES Schools in Funding Allocations

Press Release 649

s noted in Press Release 647, at a new report by the Victorian Auditor-General shows that Catholic education authorities and other private schools are failing to properly account for the use of taxpayer funding. It found that there is little evidence that private schools are using their government funding for their intended purpose. Nor is there evidence that they are achieving intended outcomes.

Nationally, Catholic schools receive at least $2 billion from taxpayers in direct grants alone. In 2013, 72% of the gross income of Catholic schools was provided by the Commonwealth and state governments in direct grants alone. In Victoria it was 71%.

If there is not even basic accountability for this level of public funding, and, if, as the Auditor General has found, the Catholic authorities are diverting public moneys given to disadvantaged pupils to wealthy schools, something is wrong with the State of Victoria – and Australia at large. We are dealing with high levels of lack of transparency and possible corruption. Yet the Chief Administrator, of the Victorian Catholic Education Commission, Stephen Elder, believes that the church can get away with it if he bad-mouths the Auditor General and his office.

UK Chancellor Osborne turning all English Schools into Academies: Australia should reject this Privatisation Game.

Press Release 648

Australian politicians, lacking a sense of Australian history and identity, have an unfortunate habit of mimicking developments in the UK or the USA.

The Federal Coalition’s flirtation with the idea of English-style academies is no exception. This ‘experiment’ means the wholesale decentralisation and privatisation of the public education system as we know it and it must be resisted at all costs.

State Auditor-General Finally Blows the Whistle on Public Funding of Private Schools

Press Release 647

For fifty years DOGS have been pointing to the State within the State which is paid billions of dollars of public money to indoctrinate children and build up wealth in real estate and investments – with no strings attached.
In 2008 the Commonwealth Auditor General complained that there was minimal, if any accountability for Commonwealth money. DOGS noted that the Commonwealth Department checked on private religious schools’ expenditure of public money once e very 50 years!

By 2016, at the State level a Victorian auditor-general who was experienced in Canadaian procedures indicated that things were not as they should be! He was looking carefully at the lack of accountability from the Catholic Education Office, Victoria. Stephen Elder, their CEO was not, and is still not happy. That auditor-general was forced to resign. Yet, thankfully, the new, acting Auditor General has not stepped back from blowing the whistle regarding State grants to private religious schools.

In a scathing report, acting Auditor-General Dr Peter Frost said the education department had "weak" funding agreements with the schools, no performance measurement or targets, and that the schools were unable to prove funds were spent as they were intended.