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Independent and catholic schools: Labor Ministers signal funding windback.

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11 July, 2003 MINCO 9/03

Labor State and Territory Education Ministers last night (AEST) launched a co-ordinated campaign to have the Commonwealth savagely cut funding to Independent and Catholic schools.

Meeting in Perth at the Ministerial Council for Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, the Labor Ministers revealed ALP plans to target the more than 1 million students who attend Independent and Catholic schools.

West Australian Labor Education Minister, Alan Carpenter, said the SES model, which provides the funding for all Independent and Catholic schools was a waste.

Mr Carpenter made it clear that Labor was not targeting, in this case, what are known as former category one schools - but in fact the less resourced former category three schools.

Mr Carpenter said the SES funding model should be "junked".

Queensland’s Labor Education Minister Anna Bligh said it is "obscene" schools such as category three schools are receiving the funding they do from the States and Commonwealth. Like WA, Queensland has no category one schools.

It is a disturbing coincidence that Labor State and Territory Ministers have launched this attack shortly after it was revealed in the media that the Australian Education Union had co-opted at least 12 Federal Labor politicians to its campaign to strip all public funding from Catholic and Independent schools.

The families of the more than 1 million students attending Catholic and Independent schools have every reason to believe they are firmly in Labor’s sights.

Media contact:

Dr Nelson’s Office: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095