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.
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).