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The Forum > Article Comments > Funding according to need is the key to ending inequity in schools > Comments

Funding according to need is the key to ending inequity in schools : Comments

By Brian Caldwell, published 26/4/2004

Brian Caldwell argues that the federal government's argreement to fund Catholic Schools is a step toward ending inequity

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Interesting to reflect on Brian's argument in the light of current developments. Rumour has it (because it does not discuss its funding policy in open forums and is therefore insufficiently accountable to its Catholic constituents) that the NCEC (National Catholic Education Commission) is still hankering after a return to the AGSRC (Average Government Schools Recurrent Costs) formula, pitching its claims short of what it costs to operate government schools. This was a disastrous policy, which cost Catholic schools millions and was abandoned at the last quadrennium. However increased funding for Catholic schools also means big increases for private schools and heavy losses for the public sector. Caldwell has argued for a needs-based policy for both public and private schools, allowing the way in for both sectors to charge fees and reserve public funding only for needy schools in both sectors. A more ethical way to conceptualise this would be to publicly fund only those schools that are fully inclusive and which are prepared to enrol children of parents and caregivers wishing to exercise a choice but without reference to their financial status. Under such an arrangement some private schools and notionally quite a few public schools would spurn public funding, turn fully independent and charge fees to reflect their clientele's exclusive interests, while most state schools and probably all Catholic and some other similar 'catch-all' systemic schools would become fully funded, thus introducing much needed choice and appropriate education reform without impoverishing the public sector.
Posted by mike furtado, Monday, 24 July 2006 12:06:45 PM
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