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The Forum > Article Comments > Budget spending sprees are not enough > Comments

Budget spending sprees are not enough : Comments

By Vern Hughes, published 17/5/2005

Vern Hughes argues in the age of consumer choice budget spending sprees are not enough to fix the problems in education, health and welfare

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Re: Budget spending sprees are not enough by Vern Hughes

Mr Hughes, I support your comments on education and the government.

As a homeschooling parent, I am part of a minority that is responding to the individuality of our children and seeking different choices in education.
The potential impact of the Federal Budget is briefly outlined below.

It has been estimated that there are between 6,000 to 10,000 homeschooling families in Queensland with, on average, 3 children per household. If, as has been claimed, approximately 1/3 of Australian homeschoolers is to be found in Queensland, then 270,000 extra children could return to school within the next 6 years! The average cost of educating a child in a government school in 2002 has been determined by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) as $5,378 per primary student or $7,102 per secondary student. Conservatively, the 270,000 new students would cost the government $1,452,060,000!!

Our family has experienced school. In 2001 I witnessed the parental support necessary for a successful Learning to Read program. 5 or 6 mothers gave approx 20 minutes of their time each morning to listen to these budding readers. Who could support the new, larger, number of students attending our schools, if all the concerned parents are forced back to work? Who will help at the tuck-shop, sports ovals and the myriad of other volunteer positions in schools? For that matter, why does the wide-ranging work of volunteers not get the recognition it deserves as a legitimate alternative to paid employment (similar to the Work-for-the-Dole scheme)?

I am currently working full-time in a career that will prepare my children to be caring, responsible and articulate individuals, ready to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. I have no wish to return them to a system already struggling to cope before 540,000 new feet come marching through the doors! Instead, I want volunteer work to be recognised as a valid alternative to paid work and homeschooling, in particular, to be available as an exemption for one homeschooling parent per family.

Thank you

Angela McAuliffe-Bunker
Posted by Angel, Monday, 23 May 2005 12:54:54 PM
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