Budget focus on disadvantaged education welcomed
National Catholic Education Commission chair, Msgr Tom Doyle, has welcomed Treasurer Peter Costello's budget focus on the needs of the most disadvantaged students and commended the doubling of English language tuition assistance.
"A quality education for all students is a high priority for the NCEC and it is pleasing to see the focus on the needs of some of the most disadvantaged students," Mgr Doyle said in a statement.
"The additional funding for Indigenous students, particularly for those living in remote communities where secondary education and training choices are limited, is most welcome."
Msgr Doyle added that the announcement that more than 400 regional and remote non-government schools will receive increased per capita funding is good news for the Catholic sector.
"The NCEC is very aware of the high cost of schooling in rural and remote regions and recognition that these communities face specific educational and financial needs, exacerbated by distance, will bring great relief to those living and working there," he said.
"The doubling of the per capita funding to assist with English language tuition for students entering Australia under the Humanitarian Programme is also to be commended," said Msgr Doyle.
"The very best assistance we can provide for these students is the language skills to enable them to live and learn and prosper in Australian society."
The emphasis on teacher quality through the proposed $5000 bonus for teachers from government and non-government schools who complete an approved Summer School course is also a welcome addition in the budget, as is the new program offering grants of up to $50,000 to schools which significantly improve their literacy and numeracy offerings.
The NCEC notes the new conditions for Commonwealth funding from 2009 foreshadowed in the budget, including the introduction of core national standards in English, maths, science and Australian history, and looks forward to discussing these and other issues with the Australian Government.
National Catholic Education Commission (Media Release, 9/5/07)
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10 May 2007