Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
PM misleads on schools policy.



Download PDFDownload PDF

PM Misleads On Schools Policy Michael Lee - Shadow Minister for Education

Media Statement - 4 October 2000

Printer friendly page

The Prime Minister is lost in the fog of Dr Kemp's lies and half-truths and is misleading the Australian people and the Parliament about the effect of his new school funding model.

Last Friday the Prime Minister misled the listeners of 3AW when he told them that under his new system the wealthiest(*) 67 schools would be funded at only 13.7% of average school costs.

Today he deliberately misled the Parliament when he claimed, "I haven't misled the people who listen to that very fine program" and refused to acknowledge his glaring error.

He told Radio 3AW that:

I think it's important to point out that under this formula you're going to have the Federal Government providing funding of only 13.7% of the total cost of educating a child at the so called 67 most well-to-do communities.

●

The truth is that only 7 schools in the whole country have an SES score corresponding to the lowest funding level of 13.7%. The other 60 will get up to 70% more than the Prime Minister claimed.

For example, Carey Baptist Grammar was one of the 67 schools the Prime Minister referred to. It is a Melbourne Category 1 school with fees of $10,690.

If what the Prime Minister had said was true Carey would get almost no increase. In fact it will get an extra $1.5 million a year.

I have written to the Prime Minister today explaining his error and asking him when he intends to correct the record and apologise to the House. (Copy below.)

Dr Kemp may have duped the Prime Minister into believing his plan to give more than $50 million a year extra to wealthy Category 1 schools is fair but he has not convinced the ALP or the Australian people.

(*) According to the Government's own definition of wealthy.

The Hon John Howard MP Prime Minister Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

4 October 2000

Dear Prime Minister

I refer to your reply to my question without notice in the House today concerning your new schools funding system.

You will recall that I referred to your comment on 3AW that, I think it's important to point out that under this formula you are going to have the Federal Government providing funding of only 13.7% of the total cost of educating a child at the so-called 67 most well-to-do communities.

●

As I am sure you are now aware, there only 7 schools in the entire country whose SES score would give them funding at the lowest level - 13.7% of Average Government School Recurrent Costs (AGSRC). The other 60 schools to which you referred will receive funding up to 70% more than you claimed.

Therefore I believe you misled the House today when you said:

I haven't misled the people who listen to that very fine program. ●

If you believe I have misquoted you or misinterpreted your comments I would be grateful for your correction.

If, however, you now agree that you have misled both the 3AW listeners and the Parliament I would ask that you let me know how and when you intend to correct the record and apologise to the House.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lee

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.