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.