Catholic Weekly

7 March 2004


Ashen start to Lenten journey

Funds boost to aid poorer Catholic schools

Better deal for 225

Fees should remain accessible

Caritas ‘springs from the heart’

Wait for news on Vanuatu

Priest’s ancestor was rebel leader’s sister

Pregnant pause: School’s in for mums and dads in waiting

Portrait of artist wins for Abbey

New St Vincent’s-Mater head

Bishops study new Mass text

Dream gathers momentum

Editorial: Funding welcome

Letters: Profound experience

Conversation: Tom O’Dwyer, ‘bowling baritone’ and special minister of Eucharist - Man of prayer who bowled the Don inl’48

When will you take that step?

Caritas way towards a better life

Queen of Apostles

School is standing tall

‘Don’t be a free loader’

World champion debater – again!

Castle Hill Rebellion

A ‘zombie’ kicks the habit

Gamblers hit courage jackpot when they seek help

Help for Timor

Cricket: secret men’s business?


Editorial: Funding welcome

MANY would be of an age to remember when State aid to Catholic schools extended in toto to the provision of a government-printed book for the daily roll call. That was it!

In those days, Catholics schools were established and maintained by parishes and religious congregations, and funded by Catholic parents, citizens who had already paid taxes for public education.

Times have certainly changed since then – and for the better.

Governments over the years have come to realise the significant role Catholic education plays in Australian society, and that parents have a right to determine what type of education will shape the upbringing of their children.

And governments now recognise that parents are entitled to this right by virtue of the taxes they pay.

The latest announcement about Federal Government funding for Catholic systemic schools is welcome.

Under the new model Catholic schools will receive $362 million more from next year than they would have under the present scheme.

The new funding model, using the socio-economic status guidelines, also makes funding more equitable and in line with Catholic social teaching which obligates Catholic agencies to pay particular attention to the poor and disadvantaged.

It means that schools that serve the neediest communities attract the most money.

Cardinal Pell points out that the socio-economic model fits in well with the Church’s concern to make education available to all Catholics, and especially those on low incomes.

Critics should be aware, too, that – despite the latest package – funding inequities between public and Catholic systemic schools still exist. At present State and Federal governments contribute $7832 a year per student to government schools and $5506 per student to Catholic schools.

They should remember, too, that Catholic parents are still the mainstay of our Catholic schools system.