I’m taking my bat and going home

The Independent Schools Coucil of Australia (ISCA) has threatened to close private schools if the schools funding bill is not passed by Federal Parliament by the end of this year. This is just a scare tactic by the ISCA to bully the government in to handing over money to predominately religious bodies and to try to avoid being properly accounatble for it.

Not surprisingly the ISCA is not happy about having to reveal their funding sources.

“We consider this to be intrusive and unnecessary and will almost certainly lead to a divisive public debate,”  (from abc.net.au/news)

How is it any more intrusive for other money making companies that have to reveal their sources of funding and submit fully audited records? If you want my tax dollars I want to know your financial affairs.

What is so wrong about a public debate on public spending to private schools anyway? Yes it might be divisive when people finally have the blinds removed from their eyes and see how much taxpayers dollars are being spent in order to further religious dogmas. It might be divisive when people wake up and realise that the very rich religious organisations put very little of their own money into their schools. I think the only reason the ISCA are woried about the “divisive public debate” is because they might lose their golden goose.

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5 Comments

Filed under isca, politics, private school funding, public school funding, religion

5 responses to “I’m taking my bat and going home

  1. Public debate should be encouraged, regardless of the issue. Maybe saying this makes me naive, but I tend to think that more dialogue is a good thing.

  2. I don’t get it. Why are private schools receiving public funding in the first place? Doesn’t that go against the very essence of being “private”?

  3. AV

    There are at least two main reasons, I gather. One is that outsourcing education to the private sector saves the government money, and it’s cheaper to subsidise private operations than it is to fully fund and administer them.

    The other concerns the endeavour by the conservative government in the 1950s to woo Catholic voters from the Labor Party by giving grants to Catholic schools. This would go unchallenged until the early 80s, when it was upheld by a conservative-dominated High Court. (The same High Court granted tax-exempt status to the Church of Scientology a couple of years later.) The Court argued that the purpose of giving funds to religious private schools was not to advance religion, but merely to further children’s education. (“Won’t somebody please think of the children??”)

    I’m not in principle opposed to the government directing taxpayer dollars to private schools. I am opposed to those schools getting a red cent without meeting the same academic, hiring and accountability standards required of other educational institutions.

  4. Okay. That makes a more sense. I agree that the private sector provides a less expensive education per student that the public sector can. However, since the US still has a primarily public education system, I was unaware that subsidies might still be provided.

  5. AV

    I don’t support the wholesale privatisation of the education system, because this would lock out those who cannot afford to pay fees. Poor literacy and poor access to education leads to crime, health and social problems which the government—and therefore the taxpayer—has to spend money addressing anyway. People who send their children to private schools and whine about having to pay “twice” (because a portion of their taxes are spent on public education) fail to realise this.

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