School funding – yet again

There’s something a little bit haywire in an article in a recent SMH article (8/3/2018) – Funding bonanza for rich Sydney schools – Surely the figures tell us that in total, govt schools in NSW educating 788,891 students received $20,281 per student in 2017, while the state’s non-govt school network of 418,383 pupils received $10,755 per student.  Unless I am missing something state schools get nearly twice the funding of non-state schools per pupil.
I would dearly love to see an article setting out what would be the position if even half of non-state-school pupils left and walked up the street to the local govt schools.
Could I use the word “chaos”.


I found the following article interesting after all the ill-informed (dare I say – biased) stuff in the papers recently:  Published: 08 March 2018

Has debate around the Catholic Church become so polarised that it is moving towards irrational extremes, asks Joel Hodge. Source: ABC Religion and Ethics.

By no means am I advocating that the Church be exempt from robust public scrutiny. I am also not wishing to divert attention from historical abuse and grievous cover-ups in the Church. I firmly express support for the survivors who have bravely stood up to seek justice and healing.Rather, I want to avoid prejudicial scrutiny that only leads to misdirected blame. This misdirection allows all parties to avoid proper accountability.

Take the recent six-month investigation by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald into the properties of the Church. The investigation sought to highlight issues around the transparency and accountability of the Catholic hierarchy.Yet, despite the purported aims of the investigation, there were some obvious flaws. These flaws highlight how resources and attention are being irrationally misdirected against the Church and could be better deployed.

For example, the Church was treated as one entity by the investigation, whereas, in fact, it is many different entities in Australia – dioceses, religious congregations, parishes, schools, hospitals, aged care, social services and so on. To lump all these agencies together – like lumping all the assets and agencies of the federal, state and local governments – is misleading.  Without quibbling about the actual valuations given by the newspapers, much of the reported property cannot be liquidated for obvious reasons. There are churches, hospitals, schools, aged care and social services facilities on these properties. They could not easily be liquidated without a significant social cost and, in some cases, political negotiation.

One is left wondering, then, what was the real point of the investigation?  The Age claimed it wished to highlight the Church’s treatment of claims made by survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as question the tax-free status of the Church.
There seems to be a view that, by highlighting the Church’s wealth, it will be embarrassed and pressured into giving more compensation and support to survivors. But it is the federal government that has set the limit on compensation, not the Church.

– Joel Hodge is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.

The English Language

Andrea Demetriades – a classically Greek lovely young woman – until, that is, she opens her lovely mouth and I hear “I think Australia is doing very f…ing well”. (Sunday Life 25 Feb).
Can anyone tell me when if ever this habit of women aping the worse-spoken men of their acquaintance will pass.
I am tired of the excuse that they all speak like this…and that it’s not swearing with the young women of today – it’s ordinary language.

How sad that the beautiful English language apparently is not enough for these young people – they must throw in words long despised by the ordinary person and ignore the language that will express anything they want.

TAFE and privatisation

Angus Taylor, Minister for Cybesecurity – you break my heart – because you evidently know nothing of your job/history. Over the past years governments have taken so much money/staff from the TAFE organisation they almost killed it off in favour of – privatisation.
We had so many scandals where private “colleges” milked the system of millions and left thousands of would-be trainees desperate for jobs and qualifications not worth the paper they were printed on.
And now it’s hit you and the rest of your government that we need a good reliable system to produce the qualified young people our industries are crying out for…and you turn to TAFE. was always there producing good reliable apprenticeships with so many skills.
We got what we paid for and I hope your efforts now will produce what WE need.

Is this discrimination

Means testing in independent schools – is it discrimination?   I note that there is a move afoot to means test parents of children in non-public schools. Will the same apply to parents in state schools such as the many prominent people/politicians who boast that they send their children to state schools incidentally having the ordinary person in the community/ taxpaying parents in the non-public school sector pay for their child/children’s education) Would this be discrimination?

Media errors

Yawn…yawn..boring… It’s the start of a new school year and it’s on again – the public vs private schools issue. When is my (once an independent) SMH going to get someone like Ross Gittins to write a calm piece about the relative costs of shutting down the non-public school system and all students going to public schools vs paying less per student in non-public schools.
Elizabeth Farrelly spilled the beans when she said “a quarter of all school funding goes to private schools which educate roughly a third of the populace” and then went on to claim (erroneously) that   “private school students….were sucking almost two thirds as much as each public school student”.
If SMH were required to be as even handed in this perennial argument as in politics we would be told that the govt funding for each student in the non-public school system is much, much less than for public school students. Add in the costs of acquiring/building the schools for the intake of non-public school students if they crossed over in their numbers, extra administrative costs for a quarter of the school population, teachers, etc. and even some of the contributors who rail against the non-public school system, would have to realise that the state is on a good thing with so many students going non-public.

The International Baccalaureate

For heavens sake much angst because of the results of the BT recently.  Before feeling disgruntled by being shortchanged in the public school sector by those dreadful, money-hungry “elite” private schools take your mind back to earlier ABC days when British comedies and often British dramas were seldom shown on commercial TV because of the perceived loss of ratings.
After appearing on ABC and the public liking the genre, what happened?  The commercials adopted them too.
Similarly with the International Baccalaureate (IB) which has been pioneered among non-public schools; there are now calls for it to be “given” to public schools.  Why?  Because it has been shown to be interesting, advantageous to students, etc. But the ground work needed to be done by those awful private schools who took the risk with it and could make their own decisions.
Can you imagine the furore if the IB had been introduced BEFORE  coming out in the non PS sector?  P&Fs and P&Cs would have been ringing, writing, emailing, facebooking their MPs about this dreadful suggestion.
And I’ll throw in for your consideration – for how many years have those “elite”  schools been educating indigenous youth without fanfare?  And how many a year?