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Catholic Education in the News

In both Sydney and Melbourne this morning Catholic education is in the spotlight in Fairfax papers. The Age carries a report with the Director of Catholic Education, Susan Pascoe, and the Victorian Independent Education Union seeming of one voice in calling for more equitable funding. The SMH carries a string of stories linked to the general growth in demand by parents for values and religious education. All links provided in our detailed coverage.

The Age story begins: "Victoria's Catholic school system is facing a crisis, with many classes of unmanageable sizes and government funding lower than in any other state, the Victorian Independent Education Union says. According to the union, government funding shortages in Catholic schools were affecting enrolments and forcing thousands of students to be packed into classes of more than 30 pupils."

The paper says: "The union will lobby Victorian MPs to bring Catholic school funding into line with the national average, and to have government funding indexed as in other states."

The report closes with this perspective from the Director of the CEO: "Susan Pascoe, the director of the Catholic Education Office - which sets the policies for Catholic schools – also wants a more equitable funding model. She said that while Catholic principals applauded extra initiatives for public schools, they were frustrated by the "widening gap" between state and Catholic sectors." And the comment: "But Australian Education Union branch president Mary Bluett said the state's main funding priority should remain with public schools."

The Sydney Morning Herald is carrying a series of reports from religious affairs writer, Kelly Burke, education writer, Linda Doherty, and Linda Morris on " the new education landscape": "Religious schools are soaking up students – and funding – as parents push for values-added private education."

Age: Catholic schools facing class crisis: union
SMH: Why parents prize education's fourth R – religion
SMH: Giving children what parents can't – values
SMH: When in class, do as Catholics do
SMH: As coast booms, religious colleges gather the faithful

23 Jun 2003