Archbishop disappointed in Vic Budget

Commenting on the Victorian Budget, Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart expressed his disappointment yesterday at the shortfall in funding for Catholic schools.

The Archbishop said that he submitted a budget request for an additional $100 million over four years but the budget papers appear to provide "almost nothing from the $1 billion extra dedicated to education and training in Victoria."

"We all agree that the education of our children is paramount," the Archbishop said. "We have sought additional funding so that children in Catholic schools receive the education they need for their future life choices and so that they can contribute to the well being of our communities and the development of this State."

"We have identified funding needs for new and innovative capital projects, information and communications technology, for students with disabilities and for refugee students," he said.

According to the Archdiocese of Melbourne, State Government funding in Victoria to non-government schools languishes at the bottom of the table compared with all other states. In Victoria, non-government schools receive $453 per child less each year than children being educated in non-government schools in New South Wales.

Families sending their children to catholic schools fund 28% of the total cost of the catholic school system, Melbourne Archdiocese claims. Fifty-six per cent of funding comes from the Federal Government and 16% from the State Government.

More than one fifth of all children in Victoria are presently being educated in catholic schools.

The Archbishop applauded the increased support for families through the School Start Bonus and Trades Bonus. He also acknowledged the government's recognition of the special needs of younger disabled people in nursing homes.

He also noted that the tax take from gaming machines appeared to be on the increase. "I know the money has to come from somewhere. I would rather see a strategy in place that progressively reduces reliance on taxes from gaming machines."

Catholic Archbishop disappointed in State Budget (Archdiocese of Melbourne 31/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Melbourne
2006-2007 Victorian Budget

Cash to ease school pain (Herald-Sun 31/5/06)

1 Jun 2006