'Discount' schools get ALP pledge
Private schools that offer discounts to struggling families who send more than one child to their school will be protected from funding cuts under the ALP's schools policy.
The Australian reports that Labor has confirmed it will introduce a new needs-based formula that recognises the total fees schools secure, not simply the official fees charged.
The agreement follows the ALP's talks with Jewish and Catholic schools, which feared the new policy would not recognise that some schools offer a place to students regardless of their parents' capacity to pay.
For example, while the prestigious Kings School in Sydney has been singled out for funding cuts, Melbourne's Mt Scopus College will be protected, despite charging similar fees, because 30% of students are charged a discount rate.
Labor leader Mark Latham has previously pledged a new needs-based funding model that guarantees overall funding for independent and Catholic schools will not be cut, but takes into account fees and income.
'Discount' schools get ALP pledge (The Australian 27/7/04)
Education Commission welcomes Labor's needs-based funding plan (CathNews 16/7/04)
Working Together for a Better Australia: Better Health and Education Services (ALP Policy Statement 15/7/04)
27 Jul 2004