Thursday, 19 July 2018
Matthew Guy is proposing principals expel children who are struggling in their learning environment. But when a school community labels a child a ‘bully’ and expels them without being able to provide appropriate support, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As principals well know, it is often the children who are experiencing trauma at home that act out and need additional support. What works is keeping them engaged with learning.
Many schools are already working with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, alongside other local community health organisations and groups.
Programs like Respectful Relationships and Safe Schools are helping principals and teachers proactively address bullying.
While Safe Schools remains a popular punching bag for the Liberal Party, the soon-to-be-published annual AEU Benchmark poll reveals that only 27% of Victorians are in favour of scrapping Safe Schools.
Friday, 13 July 2018
Saint Ignatius' was one of the most overfunded schools in Sydney, receiving 263 per cent of its Schooling Resource Standard, in 2014. It is fundraising for $150million.
It is now one of 102 private schools receiving bonus government payments.
The head of the fundraising arm at one of Sydney's most expensive private schools has been fired for alleged financial misconduct.
The heads of Saint Ignatius' College Riverview say they have reported alleged "admissions of financial misconduct" by its director of advancement Aleks Duric to the police. The school is also conducting its own investigation, according to an email sent by its acting principal, rector and board chairman to parents on Wednesday.
"We have recently dismissed the director of advancement following admissions of financial misconduct," the email states.
"The college has reported these matters to the police and we have also launched our own investigation.
"As these matters are subject to formal investigation I know you will understand we are unable to disclose the detail of what is alleged to have occurred.
"What I can say at this time is that the admissions made relate to specific financial transactions.
"As a college we are reliant on the generosity of our community and that is why we have acted quickly and decisively on this issue."
Mr Duric was leading a campaign to raise funds for a $150 million school redevelopment in his role as head of Saint Ignatius' office of advancement, which is responsible for fundraising and donations, including those from alumni and parents.
Saint Ignatius' College, the alma mater of former prime minister Tony Abbott and former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, has an annual fee of $28,200 for year 11 and 12 students this year.
It raised a total of $43.1 million from fees, contributions and other private sources and received additional funding of $8.2 million from the NSW and federal governments in 2016, according to the latest MySchool figures.
Before he started at Saint Ignatius', Mr Duric led "major gift development programs across 11 faculties" at the University of Sydney, and reportedly oversaw contributions of more than $80 million every year.
He was also formerly the fundraising and public relations manager for the Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Association of NSW.
He is currently listed as a director at the non-government international development agency Cufa.
Notes from Mr Duric providing updates on building programs and fundraising activities are included regularly in Saint Ignatius' newsletter and he is also mentioned in the latest annual report.
"In the area of fundraising there was mutual support for the targets and priorities of each, which Aleks Duric (director of advancement) was responsive to throughout the course of the year," the report states.
Mr Duric also wrote a letter to its old boys last year to dismiss rumours of a large financial donation by the late businessman Paul Ramsay and to encourage contributions.
"It was having in some respects a negative impact," he told the Australian.
"It's funny how these sorts of things take off."
Saint Ignatius' was one of the most overfunded schools in Sydney, receiving 263 per cent of its Schooling Resource Standard, a measure for how much government funding schools are entitled to, in 2014, according to federal Department of Education data.
It is now one of 102 private schools receiving bonus government payments to help it to transition to the new Gonski 2.0 funding model, under which its public funding will be reduced.
Thursday, 12 July 2018
On Thursday, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) fileda federal lawsuit against Trump’s Education Department, challenging the agency’s decision last week to delay an Obama-era rule that meant to address disparities in treatment of students of color with disabilities.
The provision at the center of the suit is known as the “Equity in IDEA” rule. Taking effect in January 2017, it required states to determine if racial disparities in the identification, treatment, and discipline of students with disabilities were occurring in school districts in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Specifically, if a state identified “significant disproportionality” in a school district, the state would examine the district’s policies and practices to see if they were improperly treating and identifying students and, if not, make sure the districts change their practices. The department gave states 18 months to comply with the regulation.
But last week, on July 3—just two days after states were supposed to be in compliance—the agency issued a final notice that it would delay for two years the special education rule’s implementation. COPAA, a nonprofit organization that advocates for protecting the civil rights of students with disabilities and their families, now alleges that the move violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the federal law that governs how regulations are proposed, and is requesting that a federal judge block the department from moving forward with the regulation’s delay.
“We opposed the delay in the regulations because it will harm children and parents by stalling much-needed reform in the ways that states determine which district is engaging in unlawful practices that result in disproportionate and inequitable treatment of students of color,” said COPAA executive Denise Marshall in a conference call Thursday.
Seth Galanter, senior director of legal advocacy at the National Center for Youth Law, which filed the suit on COPAA’s behalf, told reporters on the same call that the Education Department had failed to provide a reasoned explanation for the change and that its motivation can’t “simply be that they have doubts about the premise” of the regulation. In its notice published in the Federal Register, the Education Department said it was concerned that the rule may “create an incentive” for school districts to establish “de facto quotas” in placing, identifying, or disciplining students with disabilities “to avoid being identified with significant disproportionality.”
“To simply say, ‘We’re not sure and therefore we’re going to affirmatively act to stop things from going forward,’ violates” the Administrative Procedure Act, Galanter, who previously oversaw the department’s civil rights division, told reporters.
An Education Department spokesperson told Mother Jones the agency would not comment on pending litigation.
In 2004, Congress amended the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to force states to address disparities in the identification of students with disabilities for special education services, the placement of students in restricted settings, and discipline of students of color at higher rates than their peers. Yet there was no uniform definition for what was considered “significant disproportionality” under IDEA. A report by the Government Accountability Office in 2013 found that the way states defined significant disparities in districts under IDEA varied widely to the extent that it provided “no assurance that the problem is being appropriately identified across the nation.” The report noted that in 2010, just two percent of districts demonstrated significant disparities under IDEA and used federal funds to tackle overrepresentation in special education. Half of those districts were in five states. This left thousands of students of color with disabilities at risk of not receiving the services they needed and states unable to identify the true scope of their disparity problems.
So in 2016, then-Education Secretary John King Jr. announced the rule to create a standard methodology for states to follow to determine if racial disparities exist. “Children with disabilities are often disproportionately and unfairly suspended and expelled from school and educated in classrooms separate from their peers,” King said at the time. “Children of color with disabilities are overrepresented within the special education population, and the contrast in how frequently they are disciplined is even starker.”
After Trump was elected, the Education Department began signaling that it intended to delay the rule. In December 2017, department spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill told the New York Times that it was “prudent to delay implementation for two years” after the department said it received concerns about the rule during its regulatory review process. More than three months after the department opened its comment period in February, it issued its decision on July 3.
Thursday’s legal challenge comes more than a week after the Education Department, along with the Justice Department, rescinded several guidances that encouraged schools to consider race in college admissions and student assignment in K-12 schools. And in late May, COPAA, the National Federation for the Blind, and the NAACP sued the Education Department for changes the agency made to the way it handles civil rights complaints, alleging that the department had violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
Tuesday, 10 July 2018
Monday, 9 July 2018
Friday, 6 July 2018
Rich private schools earmarked for cuts through the landmark Gonski 2.0 funding deal have instead seen their proportion of taxpayer money increase this year, thanks to millions of dollars in bonus “transitional” funds set up by the federal government.
Last year, as the Turnbull government fought to pass its Gonski 2.0 funding deal through the Senate, it announced that 24 independent and Catholic schools would lose funding under the new agreement because they were receiving more than their fair share of taxpayer money.
The list included private schools such as Loreto Kirribilli – a Catholic girls school on Sydney’s north shore that charges more than $20,000 in annual tuition for senior high-school students. Loreto Kirribilli received 191.9% of its Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) in 2018. The SRS is the Gonski review’s needs-based formula for measuring how much government funding each school is entitled to.