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Won’t any one think of the private schools?

By johnboy - 26 August 2010 161

The Liberals’ Steve Doszpot is stamping his tiny feet that the Greens and Labor won’t agree with him about guaranteeing rivers of gold to private schools.

“I presented this motion today to give the Greens and the Labor Party an opportunity to step up an support the non-government education sector, which provides quality educational outcomes for over 40 per cent of Canberra students,” Mr Doszpot said today.

“I’m extremely disappointed that neither party could give the assurance of adequate funding to the over 25,000 students and their parents that chose to send their children to a non-government school in the ACT…

“In fact at a ACT Labor party conference only four years ago, Deputy Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher and former Education Minister, Simon Corbell voted for a motion to ‘unashamedly support’ public education over non-government schools.

In the true spirit of the modern Liberal party Steve promises to make sure that more money which could be spent making public schools good will go to schools parents will already pay to send their children to.

UPDATE: Andrew Barr has been in touch to let us know that Labor and the Greens passed the following motion yesterday instead of Steve’s:

    That this Assembly:

    (1) notes:
    (a) the old public-private debate is over; and
    (b) all children in all schools should get the best education possible;

    (2) reaffirms:
    (a) its strong support for the Australian Government’s comprehensive review into education funding; and
    (b) its strong support for a system that provides the most funding to the neediest schools, whether public, Catholic or independent; and

    (3) calls on all parties in this Assembly to:
    (a) support needs-based education funding in future; and
    (b) work together in the interests of all students in all schools, not to attempt to profit from the politics of division.

What’s Your opinion?


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Won’t any one think of the private schools?
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M1ckx 5:04 pm 10 Sep 10

If the polies don’t want to dedicate money to private schools, yet I choose to send my sprog there, should I not get a tax rebate? Why would anyone find it fair to pay tax for a service that is not supported by the government?

Grail 9:31 am 10 Sep 10

I’d just like to chime in with my own opinion here: it’s the “public” part of the public school system that is killing the public school system.

They are required to accept all students who attend, in fact there are laws against truancy meaning the parents and teachers can’t even suggest that the trouble children just skip school. So we have problem children (kids of habitual drug users, repeat offenders, or parents who just plain don’t know how to discipline their children) who the public system is required to accept.

In a perfect world, the public schools would be able to expel students due to disruptive behaviour, but in our egalitarian society we insist that these disruptive, uncooperative, sociopathic and often violent children must be given a chance to “fit in” with the society that they patently refused to be part of.

It’s not the private vs public funding that is ruining the public school system, it’s the carebears insisting that all students must be treated equally. Give public schools the option of excluding students they don’t want, and repeal the laws regarding truancy, an we might get somewhere. Those trouble children need a lot more attention and psychological assistance than a Bachelor of Education can provide – especially when that poor sucker is responsible for a classroom of 30 children, 5 of which are extremely disruptive.

Too often the parents of the disruptive children are in no position to fund or support extra attention for their children, since it is their life circumstance that has lead to them having disruptive children in the first place. The support needs to come from elsewhere, but the people with the ability to provide that support have already decided to send their children to the schools which exclude the troublesome elements (unless the disruptive children are in the football team, in which case they’re treated as progeny of the gods).

And for Jim Jone’s edification, “comrade” was the title adopted by French revolutionaries , which (in a simplification) was about disrupting the bourgeoisie vs proletariat divide. The term has frequently been used through history to refer to equals in a class struggle (eg: African National Congress, if Wikipedia is to be believed). It is currently used by Canberrans to refer to Jon Stanhope, mainly due to “comrade” having connotations of Communism in the USSR and thus with Stalin, whose management practices some right-wing extremists believe Jon espouses. In the sense used in this thread, “comrade” is most likely being used to refer to a fellow participant in the hypothetical Education Revolution where we violently overthrow the status quo to eliminate the “private” vs “public” divide and allow for “equal and fair” (ie: better) funding for public schools (which they already have, but we mustn’t let facts interfere with a good argument).

[Sighs]

I just can’t help but stir the pot, can I.

canbe 6:57 pm 09 Sep 10

“Won’t somebody please think of the children?!”

neanderthalsis 1:11 pm 31 Aug 10

Postalgeek said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

This thread is like Thermopylae. Jim the Spartan wedges himself in the hot gates and single-handedly takes on the idiot hordes.

Wouldn’t Horatius on the Sublician bridge be a better meta…oops, gave away my private school education then. Darn it!

I was thinking that Don Quixote tilting at windmills would have been a far more apt metaphor.

Postalgeek 10:48 am 31 Aug 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

This thread is like Thermopylae. Jim the Spartan wedges himself in the hot gates and single-handedly takes on the idiot hordes.

Wouldn’t Horatius on the Sublician bridge be a better meta…oops, gave away my private school education then. Darn it!

p1 9:29 am 31 Aug 10

CraigT said :

P1, gee, you should have *read* it before trying to comment on it:

So my comment was a tad flippant and not well researched. I suspect that “on average™ the kids at private schools are nicer, and better behaved then the average public school student. And I don’t think that has anything to do with the multicultural mix of the student body . I think it probably comes from (as I said before), a complex mix of more engaged parents, teachers with a tiny bit more time and a little more power to punish, and the removal of the worst behaved students (should they be there in the first place).

Thumper 8:58 am 31 Aug 10

Ban all government funding to private schools, after all, they just produce little tories.

Surely this is the issue at hand?

Clown Killer 2:12 am 31 Aug 10

What’s the big pronblem with choice? If 40-odd-% of voters in Canberra want to send their kids to private schools and the Government wants to make that financially easier for them to do that then what’s the big deal?

As far as I understand it, it’s not the uber-elite schools that people are flocking to, its the new, smaller schools that offer a values based education that are getting all the enrolments.

Looks to me like it’s just a case of grow up and get real as far as the haters are concerned.

CraigT 12:05 am 31 Aug 10

P1, gee, you should have *read* it before trying to comment on it:

“Gee, so a sample group with less variation in religious make up had a lower level of racist treatment? What, they weren’t picking on each other for being god botherers?”

From the report:
“It should also be noted that the social composition of Catholic school communities largely mirrors that of government schools. Instead of only serving the privileged, many Catholic schools exist in low socio-economic communities with a strong multicultural profile.”

WonderfulWorld 8:54 pm 30 Aug 10

Will Mr Dozpot last much longer?

p1 5:30 pm 30 Aug 10

Jim Jones said :

That’s about the same tenor as “When did you stop beating your wife”.

I didn’t… um…

Woody Mann-Caruso 4:19 pm 30 Aug 10

This thread is like Thermopylae. Jim the Spartan wedges himself in the hot gates and single-handedly takes on the idiot hordes.

georgesgenitals 3:36 pm 30 Aug 10

Jim Jones said :

georgesgenitals said :

Jim Jones said :

Also notable that in your post where you pull the disingenuous “it was just a question” line, you have – once again – use the “there’s no need to get worked up” line.

Nice work milkman. If you can’t play the game, play the man. Well done!

Further mud throwing. Why don’t you answer the question?

What question is that? “Are you upset because you’re jealous of wealthy people?”

That’s about the same tenor as “When did you stop beating your wife”.

OK, so you won’t answer. No problem. The question was asked because you seemed very passionate about the issue.

Jim Jones 3:09 pm 30 Aug 10

georgesgenitals said :

Jim Jones said :

Also notable that in your post where you pull the disingenuous “it was just a question” line, you have – once again – use the “there’s no need to get worked up” line.

Nice work milkman. If you can’t play the game, play the man. Well done!

Further mud throwing. Why don’t you answer the question?

What question is that? “Are you upset because you’re jealous of wealthy people?”

That’s about the same tenor as “When did you stop beating your wife”.

shadow boxer 11:27 am 30 Aug 10

Jim Jones said :

So only Justin Heywood has the brains to engage in argument. Unsurprisingly, vg resorts to his usual tactic of assuming that anyone who doesn’t hold his view is some sort of “smart arse” – Australian anti-intellectualism at its finest. Milkman sticks with his assertion that anyone who writes more than a couple of sentences is obviously emotionally unhinged. It’s a pity that you don’t have the intellect or balls to offer anything a little more substantial: really, if all you have to offer is that boring ‘nice try, but I’ve already won’ rhetoric – really, don’t bother. I don’t particularly care, and it doesn’t make you look particularly bright.

Justin, I agree – to a degree – with some of your points. For a start, yes, the education system is in need of reform and governments of all persuasions have lacked the will to do this.

That said, I’d argue that possibly the worst way to go about this would be to have a society where the public system is classified as second-class with a public exodus into privatisation being heavily subsidised as a short-term fix-it that exaggerates any problems that do exist within the public system

If you have a look at the percentage of private/public school funding, it is readily evident that the subsidisation of private education by the government was really ramped up by the Howard government. Yes the *debate* about private and public predates this government, but the change in attitude towards funding changed at this point in Australian history. Before the Howard government, you wouldn’t find many people who would argue that the government *should* substantially subsidise private education (and I daresay that those who would have held such a view would have been decried as extreme leftists).

It’s only been in very recent history that the view has arisen the government ‘should’ subsidise something that is essentially a private industry. I’d argue that this view is widespread because of vested interests. The people arguing that the government should subsidise private education are those who are benefiting from this subsidy and they are worried about losing it. That’s completely understandable, no-one wants to lose money. But that doesn’t make it a particularly cogent argument – it’s not motivated by what is the best thing to do or the right thing to do, it just makes it the most selfishly appealing thing to do.

I’d be interested to have it pointed out where I’ve used ‘the politics of envy’ – I’ve pointed out some classic sociological analysis about education being a primary means of perpetuating wealth differentiation, but this has nothing to do with envy. I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions that I went to a private school. Why in all hell would I envy something that I already have?

In a perfect world, everyone would be given the opportunity to educate their children for free in whatever way they thought best. But this isn’t a perfect world, and if the government subsidisation of private education occurs at the expense of public education, then the government is effectively giving money to the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

So the questions that needs to be asked are: Do you think that the Education budget is a fixed budget (with a limited amount of money to go around for everything that it covers)? Do you think that the Education budget would get bigger or smaller if the proportion of private school subsidisation was reduced?

There is so much in here that is just plain wrong, funding of private schools began under Whitlam and every single state and federal govenrment has continued the trend, why, it’s basic economics, the economy needs the private capital provided by parents to be in the system if the system is to survive. This is the same scenario that applies in every developed nation in the world.

Removing this capital from the education or private health areas by making these things unaffordable will see the government needing to find billions of extra dollars every year just to maintain standards as they are now, in public hospitals this would be a massive 3.5% of GDP every year.

In Gungahlin there are probably 4-5000 kids in private school, their parents are comfortable but not wealthy, where would these kids go to school if you make it unaffordable ? Are you going to build 6 or 7 news schools ?

If you don’t understand that basic level of economics I dont know what else to say, if anyone is guilty of receiving middle class welfare it is those public servant parents that send their kids to public school and contribute nothing extra to the system except narrow minded pot shots at those who do.

georgesgenitals 11:15 am 30 Aug 10

Jim Jones said :

Also notable that in your post where you pull the disingenuous “it was just a question” line, you have – once again – use the “there’s no need to get worked up” line.

Nice work milkman. If you can’t play the game, play the man. Well done!

Further mud throwing. Why don’t you answer the question?

p1 11:07 am 30 Aug 10

Clown Killer said :

There is another aspect to what you suggest that goes back the other way P1. There are also kids who are doing really badly in the public system who move to the Private system. These are kids that the public system has given up on. I’d suggest that this happens a lot more often than the latter part of your scenario.

While this undoubtedly happens, I respectfully disagree as to its frequency. The answer to the problem you raise of course, is a we funded school system with the facilities to cater for students with a range of needs (whether provided by the state of private organisations). Unfortunately we don’t have this.

I am not proposing that all funding be cut to private schools. In fact I am not sure that the the changes which have happened to the school system (those I have identified as negative) could, or even should, be undone. I do think that what currently exists has room for much improvement. I think that the current system could get a lot worse, and think that learning lessons from the past is a good way of avoiding this.

Clown Killer 10:51 am 30 Aug 10

The problem of course (and this is largely my problem with any system which promotes private schools) is that the worst kids in private schools are kicked out (because they can be) and wind up in the public system, dragging down its stats. The best kids in the public system get scholarships, or there parents get talked into forking over the cash, and they move to the private school, bringing up its stats.

There is another aspect to what you suggest that goes back the other way P1. There are also kids who are doing really badly in the public system who move to the Private system. These are kids that the public system has given up on. I’d suggest that this happens a lot more often than the latter part of your scenario.

Jim Jones 10:41 am 30 Aug 10

Also notable that in your post where you pull the disingenuous “it was just a question” line, you have – once again – use the “there’s no need to get worked up” line.

Nice work milkman. If you can’t play the game, play the man. Well done!

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