The Catholic education sector has hit out at the Greens’ “divisive” rhetoric on school funding, warning families that the party’s policies, if implemented, would force schools to hike up fees. Source: The Australian.
In a letter to families, the National Catholic Education Commission has singled out the Greens’ education funding policy, including a push for public funding to private schools to be “scaled down”, and a claims that Catholic schools are overfunded.
The letter, to be sent out today to more than 1750 schools, also takes issue with comments made by Greens leader Richard Di Natale, who accused non-government schools of “leeching” money from needy public schools, and his education spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi, who last year described the Morrison government’s $4.6 billion private schools funding fix as a “grubby deal”.
“Both the Coalition and Labor parties support the right of families to choose a school that best suits their children … provided funding plans to ensure non-government schools remain affordable,” the NCEC letter says.
“The Greens have said that government schools are worse off because Catholic and other non-government schools receive some government funding. They advocate that non-government schools should have their funding cut. It is simply wrong and divisive for the Greens to pit government schools against Catholic and other schools.”
While the NCEC, as a charitable organisation, is not permitted to promote or oppose a candidate or party, it is able to advocate on behalf of the interests of its schools.
A Catholic education spokesman said: “We don’t tell parents and staff who to vote for but we have a duty to inform them of the main parties’ views and policies.”
Asked how the party would ensure Catholic schools remained affordable for most Australian families, the Greens responded that “federal funding to the school education system should be on the basis of need and equity to ensure that all Australian children have the opportunity to fulfil their best educational outcomes”.
Greens in sight of Catholic lobby on school funding (The Australian)