According to the Age today the Abbott government is poised to announce a revamped school chaplaincy program following two High Court rulings that the program is constitutionally invalid.
abbott wants the scheme to remain restricted to religious workers despite a cabinet discussion on Monday About including a secular option for schools. Prime Minister Tony Abbott argued against a change in the cabinet meeting.
In a bid to prevent another High Court challenge, the federal government will direct funding to state and territory governments rather than to chaplain providers.Hopefully a new Victorian government later in the year will ensure secular professionals can be employed.
The chaplaincy scheme was introduced by the Howard government in 2006. Labor expanded the scheme to include secular workers in 2011 – an option the government scrapped in this year's budget.
Both challenges in the High Court were brought forward by Toowoomba father Ron Williams, a secularist opposed to public funding for religious workers in public schools. Labor and the Greens both oppose restricting the chaplaincy scheme to religious workers. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said in June: "Labor certainly does not support restricting chaplains to just religious organisations. "We think this is taking the education system down the wrong track."
The kids finished their tunnel stories today. below is a photo of all of them displayed and some photos of their completed scenes.
One of my students also made a model of Eragog and the enchanted Ford Anglia.(Not quite complete)
American schools set to return
American kids are getting ready to head back to school. But the schools they're heading back to differ dramatically by family income.Which helps explain the growing achievement gap between lower- and higher-income children.
Thirty years ago, the average gap on SAT-type tests between children of families in the richest 10 percent and bottom 10 percent was about 90 points on an 800-point scale. Today it's 125 points!
The gap in maths abilities of American kids, by income, is one of widest among the 65 countries participating in the Program for International Student Achievement.
On their reading skills, children from high-income families score 110 points higher, on average, than those from poor families. This is about the same disparity that exists between average test scores in the United States as a whole and Tunisia.The United States is one of only three, out of 34 advanced nations surveyed by the OECD, whose schools serving higher-income children have more funding per pupil and lower teacher-student ratios than do schools serving poor students.
There is a lot Australian politicians can learn about what not to do as far as education funding when it comes to what happens in the US. Worryingly our conservative politicians appear to see US funding models in health and education as an example for us.