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Kemp's attack is childish schoolyard politics.

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Kemp's Attack Is Childish Schoolyard Politics Kim Carr - Parliamentary Secretary for Education

Media Statement - 8 September 2000

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Dr Kemp's intemperate attack on Senator Kim Carr and the Labor Opposition, in today's Age is nothing but "deceitful, childish schoolyard politics", according to Senator Carr, Labor's Parliamentary Secretary for Education. Dr Kemp's remarks come in reply to an article (Age 1/9/00) by Senator Carr on the Government's new school funding Bill, currently before Federal Parliament.

Labor has calculated that Australia's 62 wealthiest private schools stand to share a windfall of $50 million per year between them, under the Government's proposed SES" [Socioeconomic Status] funding model. This estimate was confirmed by Kemp's Departmental officers before a Senate Inquiry on 23 August.

Senator Carr pointed out today that the principals of elite schools have confirmed Labor's figures as set out in his Age article. "The Principal of Wesley College has himself stated that the new system will net his school over $3 million annually in extra funds.

"And nowhere have I claimed that the wealthiest schools will be funded by the Commonwealth at 30% of average Government school costs. The issue avoided by Kemp is that, unlike the current situation, only a fraction of the 62 richest school will actually receive the lowest 13.7% funding level," he said.

"Most - about 40 - will get more, much more, than they do at present: their total Government funding will be up to 27% of Government School levels. Senator Carr said that Labor's aim was to maintain fairness and equity in non-government school funding. "Dr Kemp seeks to hide the fact that his complicated, convoluted new system actually does not fairly reflect the wealth and resources of schools and their communities. Instead, it will throw substantial extra money at the rich.

"There is a simple solution open to Dr Kemp," Senator Carr said. "He simply has to release the information demanded repeatedly by the Senate - the outcome of the new funding model for each of Australia's 2,500 non-government schools.

"This way the matter of who wins, and who loses, can be cleared up once and for all," he said.

"So what is Dr Kemp waiting for? Why is there a cover-up over this data? "Is he ashamed that, once again, this Government has been caught out featherbedding the rich and privileged in our society?" Senator Carr said.

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