January 29th 2005

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Lessons of the tsunami tragedy

TAX REFORM: Time to abolish income tax?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Labor needs new direction as well as new leader

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Labor after the Latham experiment

WA ELECTIONS: Labor's Geoff Gallop looking at defeat

FREEDOM OF SPEECH: The perils of vilification laws

EDUCATION: Deconstructing 'Critical Literacy'

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Ockham's Razor ... or Jack the Ripper? / Hogarth's Melbourne / Victoria's ailing hospitals

RUSSIA: Putin, Communism, and Santamaria's hopes for Russia

INDONESIA: Jemaah Islamiah's threat to regional security

Swifter response needed (letter)

Labor misrepresented (letter)

WW2 Allied air raids (letter)

CINEMA: Behind the Kinsey legend

BOOKS: BIOEVOLUTION: How Biotechnology is Changing the World, by Michael Fumento

BOOKS: EICHMANN: His Life and Crimes, by David Cesarani

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Labor misrepresented (letter)

by Daniel Krips

News Weekly, January 29, 2005

Your editorial analysis of the issue of independent (religious) schools funding warrants correction (Canberra Observed, News Weekly, December 18).

The article states that the policy course embraced by Labor during the last year's federal election campaign "would have whittled away state aid to independent, mainly religious, schools."

This represents an appalling misrepresentation of both the intent and effect of the policy. Thousands of struggling Catholic and other independent schools would have been the great beneficiaries.

Labor's policy was to boost funding to the public education system, while maintaining funding to the private system, but redistributing where that maintained level of funding actually went.

Total Commonwealth funding of independent schools under Labor's policy would have remained at the same level. The redistributive effect involved taking millions away from a select few schools at the very top (i.e., those with rifle ranges and heated pools) in favour of independent schools struggling to afford stationery and chalk.

Indeed, the whole point of Labor's schools policy was to guarantee all Australian school students a significant minimum resource backing: one that would ensure proper education regardless of the nature of the institution attended. I am at a loss as to how this could be construed as in some way sectarian or class-oriented.

Actually reading Labor's policy documents, rather than Coalition press releases, would have been of strong assistance to anybody preparing such editorial analysis.

Daniel Krips,
Joslin, SA

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