Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Australia has a tradition of heavy Federal subsidies for private schools. It's Australia's alternative to vouchers. Mark Latham, leader of Australia's major Leftist party, has just announced a policy of big reductions in funding for what he regards as "elite" schools. He overlooks the fact that many people on modest incomes choose such schools for their children. One such is a reader of this blog who writes:

"I am intensely angered at Latham's very divisive school 'funding'

My husband and I were on a very average income in the early 1980s, in fact I ran a small business for which I took no salary (my husband took the same as our lowest paid assistant) I worked four full evening shifts nursing, per week in all I was literally working 7am to 11.30 pm 7 days a week to give our children what we hoped was a better start at a Private school, as at that time we felt that they were not gaining the assistance they required at their State school. They had to attend as boarders as we were unable to get them into a school near home -- we had not booked them in at birth which was essential at that time.We did not send them to develop elevated ideas of their own worth but to develop into good citizens which they did.

I would never be able, under a Latham regime to have had this option even though EVERY cent -- that is EVERY cent -- I earned went into the school fees, my husband became Mum, we had no holidays apart from a couple of camping trips-NEVER not ever went out to dinner. We worked so hard for 25 years and now are 'self funded retirees' and still get no benefits from the goverment. We sold our home in Melbourne and moved to a cheaper one in the country to fund our retirement.

We have no complaints and would do the same again. We both come from the battling 'working class' and believe very much in people being encouraged to be self-reliant. We have private health cover -- we pay our Dr the full fee and get our rebate from medicare and think ourselves very fortunate.

However we have very wealthy aquaintances who sent their children to state schools, boast about not having private health care and enjoy a more lavish and self indulgent lifestyle because they spent nothing on their childrens education. Children at the 'Elite' State schools benefit and the aspirational 'battlers' who wish for a choice, the backbone of this country, are to be 'screwed' by this left wing spite-monger, bully and his petty motley crew.

Another thing: Many kids from rural Australia are boarders who have to attend such schools or move to rural towns and live alone to get further education".

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