Sunday, 29 June 2014
Friday, 27 June 2014
Thursday, 26 June 2014
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Monday, 23 June 2014
Saturday, 21 June 2014
It will be interesting to see what they suggest when it is finally released.
Friday, 20 June 2014
Thursday, 19 June 2014
"It always seemed totally inappropriate that a program could be put into public schools on no other basis than the largely unqualified people that were going in, with the only proviso being that they be religious," he said after today's ruling.
The main question examined in the case was whether the executive government had the power to fund such programs directly through local organisations.
The states backed Mr Williams in both of his High Court challenges over concerns the Commonwealth was using the mechanism to bypass them. the irony is that the commonwealth will probably get around the decision by funding the program by giving the states a bucket of money to do it.
The government will plough on and the Opposition vowed to work with the Abbott Government to ensure the chaplaincy program can continue.
"The Opposition stands ready to work with the Government to ensure that the Commonwealth can act and provide payments in such a way in the future," Labor frontbencher Brendan O'Connor said. The Rudd Government originally supported the Howard Government program to placate the seemingly influential Christian lobby which Howard and Costello openly converted.
Meanwhile, Greens leader Christine Milne says she is pleased with the ruling, saying the current arrangement made little sense given recent budget announcements.
"With the Abbott Government cutting $30 billion out of education, [injecting] $250 million into the school chaplains program, made no sense at all," she said. I couldn't agree more.
the AEU is calling for funding to be redirected elsewhere in schools.
"What our students need are expert trained school counsellors, psychologists and welfare workers," he said.
In this year's budget the Federal Government scrapped funding for non-religious counsellors, who made up about a quarter of all participants under the program.
The previous Labor government allowed secular student welfare workers to be funded under the scheme, but the Coalition reversed the decision and will only pay for chaplains. For this reason alone the opposition should withdraw its support for this bizarre program which has no place in 'free, secular and compulsory' state schools.
Watch this space for further developments.
Refer to this story from The ABC about Kew Primary School stopping their Access Ministries Religious Education classes: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-19/kew-primary-school-ends-access-ministries-classes/5535634
Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Monday, 16 June 2014
Saturday, 14 June 2014
More than 200,000 students in Victoria - nearly a quarter of all primary and secondary students in the state - receive the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), which the state government is going to axe at the end of this year.
EMA recipients receive between $150 to $300 to pay for everything from book packs, to uniforms, to school camps.
In some schools in Melbourne but also in the country the EMA payment is a huge benefit to parents and schools. ( I know it was a significant help in rural communities during the drought when rural incomes fell and many families found themselves needing government assistance. ) In the past there has been a high number of Glen Park parents receiving the EMA. Some have handed the money directly to the school ( recent changes had half of it go directly to the school anyway) and some used it to buy uniforms. ( I remember one family used it to buy school shoes every year.)
Many schools use it to support vulnerable and disadvantaged students. Some schools have a high cohort of those students. For example St. Albans PS in Melbourne has almost four out of five children that come to the school are recipients of EMA and need that to help their basic educational needs( The Hockey horror budget will create more of those children)
In other schools the EMA ( which is usually signed over to the school) is used to pay for uniforms, book lists, fees and stationary items.
The EMA is a relatively small part of Victoria's $5.9 billion school budget.But when Victoria signed up to the Gonski reforms last year they decided to remove funding going directly to students and put it into schools based on need.The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) said that was a big mistake.
"General money flowing into schools is not targeted money going to children who absolutely need it to be able to attend and participate in school," VCOSS CEO Emma King told the ABC last week.
"So there's a really significant issue here, while Gonski might be flowing into schools, that in itself doesn't provide targeted assistance to those who need it." the sad fact is that only a fraction of Gonski funding will eventually find its way into government schools. Glen Park hasn't seen one red cent of it.Victoria's Education Minister Martin Dixon said when Gonski funds start to flow in July the state's neediest schools and students would be much better off.( Hopefully the AEU and VCOSS will be monitoring this)
The Government said even with the EMA cut, schools would have $170 million in additional money to help disadvantaged families.This change doesn't come into effect until the start of next year. Apparently they will be releasing information to schools about the changes this week. But until those questions are answered, parents and principals will remain concerned. It has not been well publicised by the Department since last year ( especially for those who have English as a second language) and it won't be noticed by many families until they actually come up at the beginning of the year and start asking to use their EMA for book lists or to pay fees.
This is a LINK to the TPT site where you can download my teaching ideas.