A year ago, in a moment of optimism, I expressed the hope that we were about to declare an end to the so-called school funding war.
In recent months, I have watched with a degree of disappointment as Independent schools have been used as a whipping boy in a political campaign by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria against changes to the Australian Government’s school funding system.
For the past three years, teachers in all schools in all states have been collecting data in an attempt to do the right thing: to identify, record and meet the needs of students with disability.
With good will, and maybe a little luck, the passage by parliament of the Australian Government’s education bill will put an end – for the time being at least – to what’s become known as the school funding wars.
Education is a central issue in the campaign for the 2 July 2016 federal election. This is a good thing – good for Australian parents and their children, good for teachers and schools, and good for the future of our nation.
The phrase caveat emptor – let the buyer beware – applies to commercial transactions. It tells the buyer to know what they’re getting before they part with their money.
The trouble with simple solutions to complex problems is twofold: often, they’re not simple and they’re not solutions. So it is with suggestions that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) be imposed on fees paid by parents with children at non-government schools.
Words can fail us when we hear and read about the sexual abuse of children in their homes, their schools and in other institutions. We’re shocked by the extent of it, disgusted by the predatory betrayal of trust involved, and angry when adults fail to respond properly when confronted by it.
A Dialogue reader has asked how the level of support for individual students with learning difficulties will be measured under the new funding arrangements.