Pesky things, facts

Two articles have caught my eye this weekend.

The first by now ABC employee Laura Tingle talking about pre-election budgets:

In 2010, newly installed prime minister Julia Gillard was desperately trying to show her responsible fiscal credentials amid the controversy of the mining tax. Her treasurer, Wayne Swan, was trying to maintain a respectable budget bottom line as revenues collapsed in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Okay – so some quick googling reminds me that budget night in 2010 was on 11 May and Julia Gillard became PM on 24 June. By 2010-11 revenue was not falling but had recovered to pre-GFC levels.

The second story that caught my eye was an anti-private school rant from Elizabeth Farrelly.

It’s no surprise kids grow up thinking it’s okay to cheat at cricket. Or (for that matter) at banking. We don’t even pretend to level the playing field. It’s a system that teaches children – “don’t play fair, play mean. Play to win, whatever it takes. Winner take all.”

That observation also lends itself to some googling. Steve Smith went to Menai High School, David Warner went to Randwick Boys High School, but Cameron Bancroft did go to a private school – Aquinas College. So the patsy who did the dirty work damns all non-public schools too. A quick check shows that Catherine Brenner went to Coffs Harbour High School. One out of four is not nothing I suppose.

As an aside, Farrelly concedes the argument at this point:

Charging up to $37,000 a year in fees and receiving vast public monies as well – more than half, per student, what public schools receive – private schools deploy their massive surpluses into self-decoration, donning luxury facilities to attract even more of the obnoxious rich to the arms-race of opulence. Our money builds them theatres bigger than The Wharf, aquatic centres better than Olympic, school art prizes to rival the Portia Geach, ex-Wallabies to coach their rugger teams and ex-Olympic medalists to coach rowing.

Okay – so private school students get half the money that public school school students get but end up with much better facilities? The difference being what parents pay. So if people think that facilities make for a good education why not charge all parents fees? I have long argued that school fees should be means tested. (I didn’t google to see if any schools have better pools than the olympic stadium).

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45 Responses to Pesky things, facts

  1. Aussieute

    many Australians are too cheap to pay for their own education and too mean to let anyone else pay for their own education either

  2. Entropy

    Laura Tingle’s natural home is sucking on the taxpayer teat at the ABC.

    The ABC doesn’t require the same level of accountability as Fairfax, and that isn’t an endorsement of the lax Fairfax values.

  3. Entropy

    One of my brother in laws is a public school teacher. Thoroughly decent man who specialises in trying to educate delinquent boys (mostly indigenous like him) that no other state school teacher is prepared to touch.

    Anyway, at Easter he declared that the government gave more money to private schools than public ones, and it had to stop. This statement resulted in general hilarity around the table, so incensed, he stalked off to get the facts. Needless to say he eventually produced for us some polemic pack of lies from the Teachers Union. More hilarity.

    He was a bit crestfallen when it was explained that he was only counting federal money, and he needed to take into account state government money. It’s all taxpayer money after all. My other brother in law, a SME owner that pays all those taxes, found it slightly less funny.

    Thing is, why do politicans let the union get away with it? Call them liars and dare them to try defamation.

  4. NB

    ‘obnoxious rich to the arms-race of opulence’
    Odd.
    She continues:
    ‘My father was a pathologist who chose to remain in the public system despite being courted by private labs where he would have become rich. My mum taught music at public schools and on public radio and English, especially ESL. Both had been dux of their school and first of their family to attend uni, yet they chose to spend their lives in the public system. And here’s the point: they could make that choice because sending us kids to excellent schools and universities was completely free.’
    Odder.
    What does ‘completely free’ mean. Who pays?
    Who benefits from this two income professional family exporting their education costs to the bulk of taxpayers who are poorer than them?
    I see lots of virtue signalling, but not much substance to Elizabeth’s argument.

  5. Tel

    Play to win, whatever it takes.

    Clearly a quiet nod to Grahame Richardson there, nicely placed. Don’t worry Lizzy, I hear ya dog whistle!

  6. mc

    Excellent point NB. I work with people who look down their noses at me for sending my children to private education because they say I am funding inequality. They then can’t see the point that by choosing to send their kids to public school they are consuming resources of the less fortunate.

    The introduction of education vouchers would improve education opportunities overnight. It would also likely improve education outcomes and destroy the education union at the same time.

  7. Confused Old Misfit

    Well done mc! Continue to fund inequality because that is what has advanced civilizations. Without inequality the world would be a dreadfully drab, stagnant and stupid, stultifying place.

  8. Ellen of Tasmania

    Speaking of pesky facts and education, has everyone seen the latest Project Veritas drop? With more to come, it seems. But shame on wicked parents for wanting something better for their kids.

  9. mem

    Charging up to $37,000 a year in fees and receiving vast public monies as well – more than half, per student, what public schools receive – private schools deploy their massive surpluses into self-decoration, donning luxury facilities to attract even more of the obnoxious rich to the arms-race of opulence

    It actually costs the tax payer less to have private schools operate because parents pick up a large portion of the actual costs. If all the private schools were closed the state and federal education budgets would have to be massively increased to fund the influx of students, extra teachers, provision of facilities etc. And then of course you would probably witness a downgrading of education across the board. Perhaps Laura should do some sums and also consult with her Labor colleagues to see how many ministers and union officials send their kids to private school before she mouths off.

  10. mem

    Re above. Sorry for error in my post. “Perhaps Laura ” should be changed to Perhaps Elizabeth should”.

  11. Iampeter

    Why not just argue that education is not a legitimate function of government and get the state out of schools altogether?

    I love how proposing actual alternatives to leftism are not even theoretically entertained by anyone today.

  12. Empire 5:5

    Why not just argue that education is not a legitimate function of government and get the state out of schools altogether?

    Education is not a legitimate function of government.

    I love how proposing actual alternatives to leftism are not even theoretically entertained by anyone today.

    See above.

  13. Entropy

    Avoided in Barking Betty’s rant is also the little factoid that private schools don’t pay teachers quite as much as public schools, and private schools expect, demand a hell of a lot greater out of hours commitment.

  14. Entropy

    I think IamPeter needs to go over to the euthansia thread. A fellow so called libertarian is proposing a significant extension of the role of government.

  15. Iampeter

    Entropy, firstly I’m not a Libertarian.
    Secondly, what’s being proposed in the euthanasia thread is NOT an expansion of the role of government, you embecile.
    Thirdly, as wrong as progressives are at least they are not so politically illiterate as to not even understand that they are leftists and what constitutes expansion vs shrinking of government.

    Conservatives are just the worst.

  16. mh

    Iampeter
    #2704040, posted on May 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Entropy, firstly I’m not a Libertarian.
    Secondly, what’s being proposed in the euthanasia thread is NOT an expansion of the role of government, you embecile.

  17. Iampeter

    The polite thing to do would be to NOT point that out, thanks alot mh.

  18. mem

    Interestingly the biggest increase in independent schools last year occurred in Victoria and Queensland;
    From ABS “In 2017 there were 9,444 schools in Australia, an increase of 30 schools on the 2016 figure. Victoria and Queensland reported the largest movements in school counts from 2016 to 2017, with an increase of 8 schools reported for each. The increase in school numbers was driven predominantly by growth in Independent schools.” http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/4221.0main+features22017

  19. Ubique

    Charging up to $37,000 a year in fees and receiving vast public monies as well – more than half, per student …

    This is wicked misrepresentation. Private schools might on average receive half the public funding that is spent on free-loaders at government schools, but top level private schools that charge $30k plus per student receive more like 10 percent of public funding.

  20. jock

    I tealise this will not be popular sinc but i tend to disagree with you on education. But i do have another take. During the BER and in everything they do, the catholic system castly outperformscthe public system with its bureacrats etc. In my view (and im not catholic but have sent my kids to dls) we would ne better off outsourcing the public systembto the catholic education system.

  21. Tel

    I think IamPeter needs to go over to the euthansia thread. A fellow so called libertarian is proposing a significant extension of the role of government.

    In this particular case, David Leyonhjelm happens to be asking for the Commonwealth to formally declare it has no part in the euthanasia question (which is merely a recognition of what the Constitution already itemizes). So you have that one entirely upside down and back to front, but I’m happy to help point the right direction.

  22. jock

    Also , for ensuring stable blood pressure, i purposely stopped reading anything by Tingle (Is she still mrs tory hater?). I do try to read some left of centre economic comment such as by eslake. But tingle is left wing crap with rancid butter on top.

  23. Des Deskperson

    ‘My father was a pathologist who chose to remain in the public system despite being courted by private labs where he would have become rich. My mum taught music at public schools and on public radio and English, especially ESL. Both had been dux of their school and first of their family to attend uni, yet they chose to spend their lives in the public system.’

    Yet their, err, sacrifice would have been considerably offset by the fact that, as public sector employees, they were., for all practical purposes, unsackable.

    Sure, a very serious ethical breach or criminal conviction might get them fired, but generally speaking they would have been under no obligation, in their everyday work, to perform efficiently, effectively or economically.

    This would apply in particular to Mrs Farrelly Snr, who was doubtless an excellent teacher but if she wasn’t, no-one would have done anything about it. Who ever heard of a public school teacher being sacked because he/she couldn’t teach?

  24. Dr Fred Lenin

    If it weren’t for private schools where would the gangrene and alp leaders send their kids to be educated?
    Where would the communist fascist parties get their leaders from ?

  25. struth

    Our money builds them theatres bigger than The Wharf, aquatic centres better than Olympic, school art prizes to rival the Portia Geach, ex-Wallabies to coach their rugger teams and ex-Olympic medalists to coach rowing.

    Most here have debunked Farrelly’s Bunkum here, which only leaves me to add that “our” in this tripe above, would be also be wrong in her case.
    She has consumed more taxes in her career than she has paid.
    She has contributed nothing.

  26. manalive

    And here’s the point: they could make that choice because sending us kids to excellent schools and universities was completely free … Had they lived in Sydney, that would have been impossible …

    When Batty Betty went to school in NZ, hmm sometime shortly after the Great Depression I’d guess, the Australian state school system was also excellent.

  27. manalive

    And here’s the point: they could make that choice because sending us kids to excellent schools and universities was completely free … Had they lived in Sydney, that would have been impossible …

    That’s untrue, when you google it you find that the New Zealand system was almost a facsimile of the Australian with state schools semi-independent mainly Catholic schools and elite private schools and in Farrelly’s day university education was available free of tuition fees for scholarship winners exactly the same as in Australia.

  28. Mr Black

    Schools are made excellent by the selection of students in them. Swap the student bodies from the best performing private school and the trashiest public school and observe that the results will follow the students, not the teachers. The high cost simply acts as a mechanism to keep out the children of delinquent and under-performing parents and ensure they are lumped together in whatever unfortunate school they happen to live near.

  29. Tintarella di Luna

    This is wicked misrepresentation. Private schools might on average receive half the public funding that is spent on free-loaders at government schools, but top level private schools that charge $30k plus per student receive more like 10 percent of public funding.

    Just remember that the state governments provide 80% of all education funding to government schools — the maximum the absolute maximum NSW provides to a parent-funded school is 25% children at some parent-funded schools can receive as little as $3.00 per child. It is all worked out on a socio-economic scale of some sort. The Commonwealth provides the balance 20% to government schools and has since Menzies topped up the non-government school sector because of the disparity in funding (In NSW the 25% funding component is in legislation.

  30. David Brewer

    Charging up to $37,000 a year in fees and receiving vast public monies as well – more than half, per student, what public schools receive

    As already noted, “up to” is a misrepresentation, since the private schools receiving more than half as much per student as public schools are not the ones charging anywhere near $37 000.

    But apart from that, how can Farrelly describe the public funding of private schools as “vast” when there are far more kids in public schools, costing twice as much each, and she thinks even this is not enough?

  31. Percy Porcelain

    What does ‘completely free’ mean. Who pays?

    There is no such thing as a “free edumacation”.

    Grate to see iampoofter stuffing up yet another thread with his irredeemable “imbecility”.

    FFS.

  32. Percy Porcelain

    an anti-private school rant from …

    … Barkin’ Betty Farrelly.

    What’s the bet her sprogs go to private schools?

    That noxious idiot Paul Wally got found out several years ago when it was revealed he sent his sprogs to private schools – “I’m not having them come home sounding like Ali G, I tells ya!” he proudly declared.

    F*cking hypocrites.

  33. iain russell

    The dumbness, it hurts.

  34. manalive

    If I had one wish for Australia it’d be this. Ban private schools …

    That’s Elizabeth Farrelly in the SMH Dec 8, 2017.
    Put another way: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” (Benito Mussolini).
    The woman is a totalitarian.

  35. kae

    “embecile”

    Chuckle head.

  36. John

    You’re correct but Elizabeth Farelly is nuts so don’t get too worked up.

  37. Mother Lode

    The advantage some parents bestow upon their progeny by sending them to private schools strikes Barking Betty as an injustice.

    But even if she were to have her way and private schools were burned to the ground while the teachers and staff were wheeled about in a tumbril being abused and humiliated with excrement and filth, then strung up in the public square – if all this came to pass there would still be the issue that some parents advantage their kids in other ways, such as involving themselves, taking time etc.

    I assume she has a plan to wipe this iniquitous inequity off the face of the Earth.

    Doubtless taxpayers will be paying for it too.

  38. GD

    … Barkin’ Betty Farrelly. What’s the bet her sprogs go to private schools?

    In Victoriastan, Premier Dan Andrews sends his kids to a Catholic school, while at the same time insisting on implementing the obnoxious Safe Schools propaganda in all state schools.

  39. Anon

    While I don’t think much of the comments sections for articles generally, I was truly surprised how many people are saying that private schools should be banned and nationalised in Elizabeth’s article. Sure, it’s the SMH and not the Australian, but nor is it the Socialist Worker. I’m truly astonished that anyone could really think that nationalising private schools is sensible.

  40. stackja

    Private schools taking resources from teacher unions.

  41. NuThink

    @Iampeter, is embecile short for “empowered imbecile”?

  42. JohnA

    Dear Madam Farrelly,

    Could you please explain how you sustain your argument that

    Our money builds them theatres bigger than The Wharf, aquatic centres better than Olympic, school art prizes to rival the Portia Geach, ex-Wallabies to coach their rugger teams and ex-Olympic medalists to coach rowing

    when Dastardly Dan of Victoriastan has just announced in the latest Victorian budget (who is his treasurer?) that $400,000 is going to Narre Warren South P-12 College for a “world-class” orchestra pit: the “cherry on top” of their redeveloped auditorium. (Berwick Star News May 3, 2018 p3 article “Casey welcomes big State Budget spend”)

    hmm?

  43. Buccaneer

    Interestingly, I understand NSW cricket ran some research on how many private school boys have made it to the Aust team. It seems they were interested to know why rep teams in affluent area perform so well up to U12 and then drop off. It seems that few private schoolboys make it all the way, this might be for many reasons but a big one is that they are often forced to drop out of normal representative competition thereby missing out on the best coaching and experience playing the best players. This could also be supported by research from the NHL in the US that suggests most professional ice hockey players are born in the first 3 months of the year, they think this is because the oldest kids in an age group are usually the biggest and fastest, so they naturally get picked for the rep teams an the associated advantages of the best competition and coaching.

    Who says private schools get all the advantages?

  44. Tator

    As for Farrellys rant on “we pay for it all” with regards to the facilities. She is factually incorrect as the government funding must be spent on tuition costs. What pays for the infrastructure is what the parents pay as an infrastructure fee. Some schools pay upwards of a $1000 a student infrastructure fee. With the larger schools with 1000 or more students, that’s over a million a year for new buildings and facilities plus most private schools have long term strategic infrastructure plans that utilise that funding efficiently. Everything is broken down into hypothecated funds and itemised on the school fees invoice. Typical left wing moron ranting about things that are so fucking incorrect, someone should sue her for libel over it.

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