Australia: "The skull" is still a bonehead -- repeating the failed Latham hostility to private schools
The genius himself
Mark Latham's attack on private schools is generally regarded as a major factor in his 2004 election wipeout. Around 40% of schoolkids in the swing State of Queensland go to private High Schools so that's a big demographic to piss off. The Green/Left Peter Garrett was a huge liability as an environment minister. Looks like he is still as thick as a brick and doomed for more follies in education
THE Federal Government is set to launch a new war with private schools this week as pressure intensifies on the country's richest education establishments to reveal their assets. Education Minister Peter Garrett told The Sunday Mail that he wanted to force public and private schools to reveal their true wealth, including assets, reserves and profits.
The launch of the revamped My School website on Friday will reveal financial information including income through private fees for the first time, but not assets.
The website will also show that wealthy private schools are spending 50 per cent more to educate each student than the average spend on a child at a public school. But some high-performing, low-fee Catholic and independent schools are spending a similar amount per student to comparable public schools, when private and taxpayer-funding is combined.
The launch of the site was delayed after private schools complained some of the complex data used to arrive at a per student spend was misleading. The average government school recurrent cost for a high school student is about $12,000.
"This is all about fair dinkum transparency," Mr Garrett said. "This is all about giving people information that they deserve to have. "And it's about providing that information in a way that allows them to make valid and reasonable comparisons."
Mr Garrett will take his proposal to extend the financial disclosure requirements of My School to include assets to the next meeting of state education ministers in April this year. Some private schools securing millions of dollars in taxpayer funding have retained earnings or assets of $100 million or more. But there is no current requirement for many schools to disclose their assets, profits or financial information.
For the first time, the new version of the My School website will provide information on funding from fees and donations to public and private schools. But Mr Garrett stressed it was "not about ranking".
My School 2 will also reveal for the first time which schools are showing improvements in literacy results for children in their care and which schools are falling behind.