LETTERS News Weekly
, April 14, 2012
Gonski Report I
Kevin Donnelly’s article on the Gonski report (News Weekly, March 17, 2012) highlights the great lie in the propaganda from government, teachers’ unions and other proponents aimed at taking funding from private schools and giving it to government schools. The secondary ideological purpose of these entities is to reduce private school student numbers.
Government still provides to private sector students less than half of the cost it provides to state schools per student. The shortfall for private schools is paid in after-tax dollars, usually by working mothers. This is an injustice to private school parents. It is also a substantial tax increase for them.
If there is only a finite sum for education funding, private schools provide a financial advantage to students in state schools. Not all wealthy parents send their children to private schools.
It is time that reports to government for general circulation in the electorate on serious matters such as education were provided by an impartial group rather than by one “fellow traveller”.
Kersh de Courtenay,
Gonski Report II
The current scare campaign being run against the Labor Government’s approach to private schools (“Gonski report”, March 17) is bizarre.
One of the great ironies of the school funding “debate” is that the Coalition brought in a funding model, the socio-economic status (SES) model, that is so bad for private schools that it under-funds half of them, and yet it poses as their defender. Labor had a model that funded them more fairly, the education resources index model, and which continues to apply to half of them because they are so badly treated by the SES model, and yet it is portrayed as the threat to them.
One can laugh at the stance of the Australian Education Union, which portrays the compensation many private schools get for the inadequacies of the Coalition’s funding model as “over-funding”, as this simply plays into the Coalition’s scare campaign and thus works against the Labor Party’s more generous support for both public and private education.
However, in the end, we will be laughing at the Coalition when the Gonski report is implemented and private schools, overall, get the best deal they have ever had.