Title Federal Labor commits to address the funding needs of Jewish schools.
Database Press Releases
Date 10-08-2007
Source SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Author SMITH, Stephen, (former Member)
Citation Id OBSO6
Cover date Friday, 10 August 2007
Format Online Text
In Government no
Item Online Text: 1623049
Key item No
MP yes
Pages 2p.
Party ALP
Speech No
System Id media/pressrel/OBSO6


Federal Labor commits to address the funding needs of Jewish schools.

Federal Labor Commits To Address The Funding Needs Of Jewish Schools Media Statement - 10th August 2007

A Rudd Labor Government will invest $16 million of additional recurrent funding for Australia’s Orthodox Jewish dayschools.

Federal Labor recognises the unique circumstances and special needs of Orthodox Jewish Day schools.

For a number of Orthodox Jewish schools, the current schools funding formula, the Socio-Economic Status (SES) model, does not produce a fair result due to the fact that:

· Historical factors determine the location of synagogues. There is often no relationship between the socio-economic status of the area in which an Orthodox Jewish school is located and the financial capacity of parents whose children attend these schools;

· Orthodox Jewish dayschools take all students, irrespective of ability to pay; and

· Students attending these schools are often from large families, which makes paying even modest school fees a financial burden.

Federal Labor recognises the unique circumstances and special needs of Orthodox Jewish dayschools.

These factors mean that the SES funding model does not accurately reflect the on the ground practical outcomes at these schools.

These factors have been longstanding. Despite being aware of and acknowledging the issues facing these schools since shortly after the introduction of the SES funding formula, the Howard Government has failed to act for nearly a decade.

Today’s announcement follows a commitment given by the Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Stephen Smith, to the Coordinating Council of Jewish Dayschools in May, to provide a long term solution to this decade old funding issue facing a number Orthodox Jewish dayschools.

It also follows representations from Melbourne Ports MP, Mr Michael Danby and Federal Labor candidate for Wentworth, Mr George Newhouse, Federal Labor candidate for Goldstein Ms Julia Mason.

Before both the 2001 and 2004 Federal elections, Howard Government Education Ministers promised Orthodox Jewish schools they would fix this funding anomaly.

Stephen Smith

1/11/2007 http://www.alp.org.au/media/0807/msedut101.php?mode=print

These promises were not subsequently met.

Today, Federal Labor commits an additional $16 million in funding over four years for Orthodox Jewish dayschools, representing additional recurrent funding of a minimum of $4 million each year.

The proposed solution presented by the Government last week involves an amended appeals process that matches parental income to family size. After examining the details of the Government’s amended process and following further discussions with the Coordinating Council of Jewish Dayschools, Federal Labor is satisfied that in a technical sense it addresses the problem.

The real key to any lasting solution, however, is a long term funding commitment to implement that solution.

Federal Labor is today giving this enduring funding commitment.

Federal Labor will not only commit to an amended appeals process, it will also provide $16 million in additional recurrent funding for Australia’s Orthodox Jewish schools over the next four years.

Authorised by Tim Gartrell, 161 London Circuit, Canberra City, ACT 2600

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1/11/2007 http://www.alp.org.au/media/0807/msedut101.php?mode=print