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Education Commission welcomes Labor's needs-based funding plan

The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) issued a statement following the ALP's announcement of Federal-State cooperation in achieving a funding formula based on the needs, rather than identity, of a school.

States and a future federal Labor Government would work to ensure that all schools had at least a minimum level of resources, under an agreement reached by Opposition Leader Mark Latham and premiers.

State Government and Federal Opposition leaders yesterday agreed to set a benchmark of resources needed by all schools and would bring in a needs-based funding system to ensure that schools hit the benchmark.

"The standard will address questions of technology, teacher supply and quality, early literacy issues, retention rates," Mr Latham said.

In a statement released by Monsignor Tom Doyle of the National Catholic Education Commission in Canberra, the Catholic sector welcomed the proposal.

"NCEC would be pleased to see that a Commonwealth Labor Government would provide further increases for non-government schools in the areas of capital works, targeted programs, students with disabilities and Indigenous students," said the statement "NCEC is in agreement that schools, Government and Non-Government should be transparently accountable for the significant public investment in them."

The Commission stressed that it is "happy to co-operate with all Governments" to ensure "high educational standards and effective resourcing for all Australian schools, Government and Non-Government".

Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson expressed his scepticism about the proposal because the extra Commonwealth money is not matched by increased funding from the states.

Working together for our schools (National Catholic Education Commission 15/7/04)
Labor: money for schools on basis of need (The Age 16/7/04)
Abbott, Nelson criticise Labor's 'pact' (ABC Queensland 15/7/04)

National Catholicl Education Commission
Working Together for a Better Australia: Better Health and Education Services (ALP Policy Statement 15/7/04)
Dr Brendan Nelson: Transcript of Doorstop, Sydney: Opposition's health and education proposals (Department of Education, Science and Training 15/7/04)
Labor ties schools funding to standards (Sydney Morning Herald 16/7/04)
ALP must detail education policy: Nelson (The Age 15/7/04)
Questions over Labor's school funding (The Australian 16/7/04)
Bigger pay, smaller classes for Catholic teachers (The Advertiser 16/7/04)
Labor: money for schools on basis of need (The Age 16/7/04)
A 'new federalism' for health, schools (The Age 16/7/04)
Latham argues for Federal-State Labor governments (ABC Radio The World Today 15/7/04)
Latham promises a new era of national cooperation (ABC TV Lateline 15/7/04)
Latham pledges end to buck passing with united Labor govts (ABC Radio PM 15/7/04)
Labor plans unity on health and education (The West Australian 16/7/04)

16 Jul 2004