Saturday , December 14 2019

$4.6 billion private school deal fuels inequality: ScoMo funding backlash

“The PM’s decision to gift billions of dollars to independent and Catholic schools, is a mighty expensive marketing exercise to effectively make our elitist schools look smart, and those who choose them feel smarter,” says teacher and principal Adam Voigt.

“Let’s face it, to the government, private system parents are a powerful collective of voters not to be gotten disgruntled. But when we pit government schools against private schools in a marketing war based on showing off who has the best stuff – and then deny government schools the chance to buy stuff that’s any good, we entrench inequality in our schools and our country.

“When we pay for that war with $4.6 billion and the futures of those for whom paying for private school education isn’t an option, we do something far more morally contemptible.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is trying to use more than $4 billion of taxpayer money to buy his way out of a political mess, while ignoring the needs of 2.5 million public school students across Australia, said the Australian Council of Trade Unions in its latest statement. 

“The announcement of a funding boost for Catholic and independent schools, with nothing for public schools, violates sector-blind fair funding principles.

“Morrison announced the $4.6 billion deal for private schools after a damaging campaign from private school owners cost the Coalition votes at the recent Longman and Braddon by-elections.

“There is not a single dollar in the funding announcement for public schools, which had $1.9 billion cut from their 2018-19 budgets by the current Prime Minister when he was Treasurer.

“This deal also fails to properly support, recognise or fund the needs of children with disabilities.” 

ACTU President Michele O’Neil criticised Morrison’s decision as a power play

“Every child deserves the best education we can provide, no matter where they go to school.

“But Scott Morrison has prioritised his own short-term political gain over the future of Australian children.

“Working people are sick of seeing politicians cut special deals to buy their way out of political trouble with public money.”

“This is a cynical and unfair attempt to buy votes at the expense of the education of 2.5 million children in the public school sector.

 “Prime Minister Morrison must reverse the cuts to public schools, establish proper needs-based, sector-blind fair funding of our children’s education.”

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