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March 20, 2003

Politics vs Schools

Most people are aware that there is some discrepancy between the results of public (government funded) and independant (partially government funded) schools. Thanks to the NSW Teachers Federation the size of the gap is not known but as a parent I am firmly convinced that independant schools will be more effective for my children. You may or may not agree but what is interesting is the degree of support for independant schools (and freedom of choice for parents) provided by the various parties standing for election on Saturday.

Note that currently the state government does contribute to the cost of education of all children. This is primarily directed at public schools but a student in a non-government school is currently funded to 25% of the amount commited to a government school. In other words, if you send your child to a non-government school, the state government will spend less money on your child.

Six of the parties were asked four questions:
1. Will you continue to fund students at 25%?
2. Will you maintain interest rate subsidies for approved building loans?
3. Will you increase the grants for disabled students (up to the 25% level)?
4. Will you maintain the independant authority of the "Board of Studies"?

The answers (based on stated policies and formal advice from the relevant individual) appear below along with the name of the spokesperson and a quick score. An answer of Yes scores 1, No scores 0, any hesitation or reservation costs a half point. Increasing the funding gains a point.

Labor (J.A. Watkins): Yes, Yes, Not sure, Yes (3.5)
Liberal/National (B.R. O'Farrell): Yes, Yes, Not sure, Yes (3.5)
Greens (J Kaye): No, Yes but will review, No, No (0.5)
Aust. Democrats (A. Chesterfield-Evans): Yes, Yes, Yes, No (3.0)
Christian Democrats (G. Moyes): Yes (incr to 30%), Yes, Yes, Yes (5.0)
One Nation (D Oldfield): Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes (4.0)

Obviously there are other issues at stake but if you support independant schooling you should at least consider the Christian Democrats in the Senate. If you are against independant schooling feel free to vote for the Greens.

Posted by Ozguru at March 20, 2003 06:00 PM

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