School funding

Lately, I’ve been finding out where the money that my son’s (state) school’s fundraising goes to. Last year, they spent $20,000 on consumables within the classrooms – folders, pencils, stickers, stamps etc. They spent $10,000 on library books, and $20,000 on building works. They’ve just got two new demountable classrooms, and apart from chairs and tables, and a whiteboard, all the other equipment in the classroom, such as pencils, folders, paper, clips, etc. will be provided by the P&C (parents and citizens).

In our area, most parents can afford the fundraising needed to supply all these things. But that’s part of the point. In other areas, parents can’t. So the students won’t get pens and paper for their classroom. They won’t get a clothesline and pegs that they can hang their drawings from. They won’t get the set of dominos that we played with when they were learning how to count and match numbers. They’ll probably get some of those things, but they’ll be old and broken.

Meanwhile, the federal government is providing up to $20,000 for any school which wishes to provide a school chaplain for its students. Never mind that all schools have access to a trained school counsellor. Apparently that isn’t spiritual enough for the federal government.

Mr Penguin thinks I should be outraged at the state government (which is, after all, supposed to fund schools, both buildings and recurrent funding). And I am. After all, they are supposed to be the ones funding our childrens’ education. But I do find it especially annoying that the federal government, rather than showing up the terrible way in which the state government is managing the basics, instead provides ideologically based funding to our schools.

  6 comments for “School funding

  1. December 7, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    don’t get me started…

  2. December 8, 2006 at 2:25 am

    Gee, that sounds like something you’d hear about on our side of the globe.

  3. December 8, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    It’s so depressing. And can you imagine the state of TAFE? I echo Third Cat. Don’t get me started….

  4. December 9, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve always thought of Australia as a little more secular, somehow, which is dreadful stereotyping on my part. Over here, the Academy concept where private enterprise provides a minimal amount of funding for a new high school and gets to have tremendous input into the nature of the new school in return is providing a similar bias for a number of rich fundamentalists and creationists (though in a rare plus for this government, they’ve just banned creationist materials from science classes as having nothing to do with a ‘balanced’ view. Though a ‘balanced’ scientific view has its own issues…)

  5. December 10, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    Our P+C doesn’t pay for those sorts of things. We do pay small school fees eg $100 a year, which I think go towards pens, paper etc. Do you pay school fees? The P+C funds things like data screens and projectors,extra laptops for the teachers etc.
    I just heard a story that our local state high school students had to do a computer exam (School Cert) on paper as there were not enough computers for all students. The private schools in the area would not have had that problem. It makes me so mad. That’s in M Turnbull’s electorate!

  6. December 10, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Susoz, We do pay school fees – $350 a year, on a voluntary basis, which go to the P&C and then they distribute them. But the P&C then does no more fundraising, which I think is quite healthy, as there isn’t the same pressure to raise money from your peer group by buying chocolates etc. So perhaps this is a bit of redefinition between school fees and fundraising. I’m sure the education department does pay for pens and pencils etc. But they don’t pay as much as our school thinks we need, particularly when we’re expanding number of classrooms substantially because of local growth (40% increase in kindergarteners next year).

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