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The most pointless whinge in history?

By 30 April 2009 223

Here at RiotACT we consider ourselves connoisseurs of the fine art of complaining.

But we doff our lids to Steve Doszpot’s latest effort:

    Shadow Minister for Education and Disability, Steve Doszpot, has today condemned the Stanhope-Gallagher Government for failing to acknowledge the rights of 411 students with a disability currently enrolled in the non-government school sector.

    The ACT Education Act 2004 clearly states that education should aim to develop every child’s potential and maximise educational achievements, this would also apply to non-government students also.

    “The ACT Human Rights Act 2004 also applies to all students with a disability, not just the government sector.

    “Why then are one quarter of the population of students with a disability being ignored in the recent Review into special education needs in the ACT?

And there I was thinking the non-government sector was all about choice.

So if you choose to go to the (here’s a hint Steve) “Non-Government” sector it’s somehow the Government’s responsibility to deliver all the other services they deliver in their own schools?

Give me a break.

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223 Responses to The most pointless whinge in history?
#1
Rebos2:47 pm, 30 Apr 09

Be reasonable johnboy. How will the Schools pay for top shelf legal support for rockspiders if they have to pay for disability services as well!

Sounds like Dezpot is getting desperate for material!

#2
ant3:13 pm, 30 Apr 09

Sounds like he’s suffering from Relevance Deprivation Syndrome. Who ever heard of a town council having an opposition, anyway? That job is usually done by the ratepayers.

#3
Jivrashia3:21 pm, 30 Apr 09

Correct me if I’m wrong but I could have sworn that private schools are now being funded by our Government. Or is that just a federal government policy and not the state’s?

#4
peterh3:29 pm, 30 Apr 09

considering that the recent stimulus package includes non government schools –

Building the Education Revolution (BER) Approximately $230m in the ACT.

Under BER, infrastructure funding is being provided over 3 years with all of Canberra’s public and non-government schools benefiting from the package.

There are three key elements of the BER:

Primary Schools for the 21st Century (P21): The focus of this element is the building of major new infrastructure for primary schools, the primary component of K-12 schools and all special schools. Buildings that will be funded include libraries, assembly halls, indoor sporting centres or other multipurpose facilities. Where a school already has a contemporary library or hall, refurbishment of existing facilities or the building of a different type of building will be allowed.

Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools (SLC): This element of the BER will fund the building of up to 500 science laboratories or language learning centres in secondary schools. A competitive process will fund schools that can demonstrate the greatest need and a readiness and capacity to be able to build the facilities within the 2009-10 timeframe.

National School Pride (NSP) Program: This element will provide funding to every Australian school – primary and secondary, government and non-government – to undertake construction of small scale infrastructure and minor refurbishment projects. For details of the projects approved by the Commonwealth in Round 1, visit http://www.deewr.gov.au/Ministers/Gillard/Media/Releases/Pages/Article_090406_100637.aspx
here is the link to the stimulus site:
http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/stimulus

#5
p13:30 pm, 30 Apr 09

Exactly which services does he want the government to pay for? Construction on wheel chair ramps on private property? Or extra staff at private institutions?

#6
Emlyn Ward3:39 pm, 30 Apr 09

My daughter has a classmate with a disability in her class at her non-government school. The disabled girl has been assigned two “helpers” who make sure she gets assistance for anything she needs. Class activities are designed so as to not exclude her.

The idea that Stanhope/Gallagher have no care for this little girl because she is in a non-government school is as utterly unsurprising as it is reprehensible.

Having said that, the totally dysfunctional state of public education in the ACT does perhaps suggest that Doszpot might get a lot more than he bargained for if he gets his wish in the form of ACT Government interference in non-government-run schools.

#7
Jim Jones3:46 pm, 30 Apr 09

The Liberals want to throw more public money at private schools; colour me unsurprised.

#8
peterh3:54 pm, 30 Apr 09

not surprising when you see the old campaign info like this:
http://www.canberraliberals.org.au/files/6TJV4H83V8/Non%20Govt.pdf

#9
Granny4:00 pm, 30 Apr 09

So should equal opportunity exist only for government buildings? Should lifts and ramps be limited to buildings owned by the government?

The Act makes it clear that if you’re offering a service to some members of the public then all members of the public should be able to access it.

It should come as little surprise that parents would choose to send a sibling with a disability to the same school as their other brothers and sisters. But surely this shouldn’t be allowed! Surely they shouldn’t have any choice where they send their kids!

It’s not going to cost a taxpayer any more for a mainstream support person in an independent school than it is in a public school. The same goes for ramps, or communication equipment or a wheelchair or whatever.

A lot of the poorest schools in the country are catholic schools.

This has never been an issue in our family, since we have chosen a special school setting for our child.

This does not mean that the choices of others should not be respected. If somebody wants to send their kid to a catholic school or the Islamic school that child should have just as much right to go there as anybody else.

#10
jakez4:06 pm, 30 Apr 09

Granny said :

So should equal opportunity exist only for government buildings? Should lifts and ramps be limited to buildings owned by the government?

Not at all. I think private entities should provide such things if they so choose to. I just don’t think they should be forced to through the iron fist of the state. The velvet welcoming hand of voluntary community action however is more than acceptable.

As for Government buildings, well I suppose I’m an ‘owner’ as it were of Government buildings so….

Oh sorry, I fell off my bed in a fit of laughter/tears. Anyway, so I put my own ‘share’ fully behind making such entities accessible to the disabled.

#11
Pommy bastard4:06 pm, 30 Apr 09

Lets see now, if the disabled kids parents choose to stay at The Hyatt Hotel, should the government provide disabled facilities there to enable this?

#12
Granny4:17 pm, 30 Apr 09

Yes, jakez, thank you. That’s so how it is for us.

#13
Granny4:18 pm, 30 Apr 09

I meant, PB.

#14
Granny4:19 pm, 30 Apr 09

These attitudes are exactly why we have the disability discrimination act in the first place. I’m out of here. You all enjoy yourselves.

#15
Jim Jones4:24 pm, 30 Apr 09

Granny, I know you have a real concern about this issue and are always going to have very strong views on it.

But the government is responsible for funding and managing public schools – not private schools. Of course, private schools should attain a standard of accessibility, but it’s their own responsibility to provide this, not the governments.

#16
p14:25 pm, 30 Apr 09

I get very conflicted when trying to decide how I feel about government funding of private schools. I usually come down on the “governments should support all people equally”, but when it comes to education, I can’t help but think that economies of scale would mean that if the government put every last cent of eduction money into public schools, those schools would be better. Sure, they would end up with more students (you couldn’t institute such a policy over night), but, well, maybe it is just my inner communist talking.

I do accept that this specific argument is a little different, as it pertains to a specific aspect of being an eduction provider (ie, special needs of students with disabilities), which can get pretty large even for one student.

#17
Granny4:31 pm, 30 Apr 09

Ok, I can’t help myself. We’re not funding the school. We’re funding the child. A ramp is built for a child. The school don’t need it. A support person is allocated to a child. A communication device is given to a child, not a school. Why force them to go to a different school from their brothers and sisters just so they can access an education?

#18
Jim Jones4:32 pm, 30 Apr 09

I just wonder why the government should be contributing so heavily to a service that is necessarily denied to many taxpayers because they can’t afford it.

I went to a private school and it was completely sh1t. They were more interested in turning out mindless conformist than actually instilling a love for knowledge or a desire to learn independently (I didn’t get this back until I attended a public college and rediscovered how much I loved learning). The snobbery was also completely appalling, the focus on the all-important ‘image’ of the school was insane, and often contradictory to the best interests of the students.

#19
Emlyn Ward4:35 pm, 30 Apr 09

P1, I would agree with you – when it comes to healthcare and toll-roads and so forth, I am appalled and disgusted at the utter waste of public money used to prop-up a completely faked idea of “choice” and “competition” which is nothing more than public money which should be spent on healthcare or roads (etc) being siphoned-off by private companies to pay for their shareholders’ new yachts (etc…).
Sometimes I feel I must have an inner communist telling me to feel this way – but other times I think it is perfectly rational to expect some aspects of society to function in a 100% socialised manner.
Roads, electricity, healthcare, and petrol are areas where privatisation fails miserably to deliver anything worthwhile.

When it comes to education, however, it is clear that the non-government alternatives don’t exist to line shareholders’ pockets, but instead to provide a clear philosophical choice in how you want your children educated.

Public education horrifies me in the way it utterly fails to teach children discipline and rational thinking – the current triumph of opinion over fact in relation to stuff like Homeopathy, global warming, vaccination, Pop Idol, multiculturalism and history, (etc) where magical-thinking is taking over from clear analysis is a direct result of thirty years of misguided education policy against which non-government schools provide a safe haven for parents concerned for their offspring’s intellectual well-being.

#20
p14:38 pm, 30 Apr 09

But the government is responsible for funding and managing public schools – not private schools. Of course, private schools should attain a standard of accessibility, but it’s their own responsibility to provide this, not the governments.

I think this argument stems from the conflict of a sector which everyone feels the government *must* make available, whilst at the same time believing that the private sector has a right to compete in it.

Example, when the government owned Telecom (Telstra), the were expected to provide a minimal level of service to the population. Now there is a situation where everyone expects the government to ensure everyone has access to services, while there is a market place in which companies can offer the same service, but only to the sector of the community which makes then money.

If private schools were *required* to offer all the same support mechanisms that the public system is *required* to offer, then that would be fair competition.

I expect that my opinions will change drastically when I have children.

#21
Granny4:38 pm, 30 Apr 09

God, are we arguing public education versus private or whether kids should get to go to the same school as their brothers and sisters?

#22
Jim Jones4:40 pm, 30 Apr 09

Granny said :

Ok, I can’t help myself. We’re not funding the school. We’re funding the child. A ramp is built for a child. The school don’t need it. A support person is allocated to a child. A communication device is given to a child, not a school. Why force them to go to a different school from their brothers and sisters just so they can access an education?

Granny, I’m not sure that the issue is solely over building codes. I would have thought that all school buildings (regardless of whether they were public or private) would be required to have proper access options.

Even if this were the case, private schools already receive disproportionate governmental funding – if there are accessibility problems, then the schools should be forced to get up to scratch without additional government funding. They can rely on the funding they’ve got.

As for kids being ‘forced’ to go to different schools – I’m sorry, but that really is a bit rich. Not all people can afford to send their children to private schools, what about their kids?

Not everyone has a ‘right’ to go to a private school. I fail to see why should private schools should receive even more funding, eat up even more of a limited education budget, and even further reduce the educational opportunities of children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds?

#23
Granny4:40 pm, 30 Apr 09

Without some big stick saying you can have this wheelchair you need, but only if you go to this school and not that school because we don’t like it that that/i> school exists and we want to force you to go to this school.

#24
Granny4:43 pm, 30 Apr 09

The funding is not for the school, Jim Jones. What building codes are you referring to? As far as I know, mainstreaming requires access, special equipment and support people. What do you think it requires? A whole school makeover?

#25
p14:43 pm, 30 Apr 09

When it comes to education, however, it is clear that the non-government alternatives don’t exist to line shareholders’ pockets, but instead to provide a clear philosophical choice in how you want your children educated.

I concede that this is where my argument totally falls over.

Public education horrifies me in the way it utterly fails to teach children discipline and rational thinking…

I think that the problems with public schools are something of a feedback loop to the mass of society the teachers (and all other people with influence in the education system from minister down) are drawn from. Perhaps the government should get out of the eduction business totally.

#26
johnboy4:45 pm, 30 Apr 09

As far as I’m concerned the state has an obligation to provide an education to all children.

Expecting it to provide for the facilities of choice at the private school of your choice so you can choose to send all your other children there is just having a lend of the taxpayer IMHO.

The real upshot of Steve’s complaint is actually an attack on private education in Canberra, not the Government. I doubt he’s thought that far ahead on that one.

#27
Jim Jones4:53 pm, 30 Apr 09

Sorry Granny, I’m completely with johnboy on this one.

#28
Granny4:56 pm, 30 Apr 09

I have no plans to move my daughter from her special school, so it certainly doesn’t affect me personally.

It’s the attitudes I object to.

This isn’t about what school a child goes to so much as that a child with a disability will need extra help to learn in whatever educational or public or private setting.

If they can’t communicate they will need a system for communication which may mean a special person or low-tech or high-tech solution. It may involve pictures being posted around the school so that the child can understand that this is the science lab etc.

If they can’t move they will need some kind of mobility aid whether that is a crutch or a wheelchair or a person to push.

If they can’t operate pencils or keyboards they will need a person or gadget to help with those sorts of things also.

It boggles my mind that people are so hung up on trying to tell other people under what conditions a child can or can’t have access to these things because of their own personal prejudices against an educational model.

People, you are going to be paying for these things anyway. It makes no difference to you. It could make a huge difference to the happiness of some child.

Think about that.

#29
Emlyn Ward5:00 pm, 30 Apr 09

“I fail to see why should private schools should receive even more funding, eat up even more of a limited education budget, and even further reduce the educational opportunities of children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds?”

I don’t think you’re analysing this properly:

If you use compulsion to force people to use Public Education, then you are *increasing* the cost of Public Education, and thereby *reducing* educational opportunities for poor people.

…and when that compulsion is applied to disabled children, whose cost of education is necessarily higher, the imposition on the Public system is even higher.

Of course, what I’ve written above is only true if your statement “private schools already receive disproportionate governmental funding” is incorrect. I assume you can’t back it up with any data?

#30
Granny5:04 pm, 30 Apr 09

Thanks for making this about the public versus private debate and not the kids affected. Why don’t you argue about that on some other thread?

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