A letter to the NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli MP about the NSW Government’s education funding priorities (which is basically “Fund private education rorts via cuts to public education”):

Hi there,
I’m writing to you in response to some of the decisions made in relation to education.

I was raised in a small rural town in NSW and public education was critical to the opportunities for anyone growing up in those areas. I was fortunate to have parents that value education (a school teacher and an engineer/scientist) – but for many in rural areas their only exposure to the value of education is via the local public school. The hard working teachers which your govt has sought to reduce pay rises below that of inflation.

You, as a National party member should be announcing funding increases to public education, not the gutting of it as you are currently doing!

Public education services 80% of the aboriginal/TSI community, yet all things being equal – should be around 60%. Yet your govt has announced increases in funding to the private education system at the direct expense of the public system. How is this at all sane?

Public education is the reason we enjoy the standard of living we have today – and you should be showing the guts to stand up for it as education minister.

Please reconsider your current direction of funding inequality and funding an (indirect or directly) racist education system. Private education should not receive money while ever it fails to take a fair share of high needs and aboriginal/TSI kids.

We should be following Finland (the world’s number 1 education system) and not funding private education at all.

Please reconsider your stance and convince the Liberal party to fund public education and stop the diversion of funds to private education – our society will suffer if we neglect public education.

Vow to make NSW public education the best in the world – not subject it to death by a thousand cuts.

Nathan Lee

Not that I expect to see a reversal of Liberal/National party policy in gutting public education (never mind it’s only the majority of kids.. if they weren’t born to good Christian parents with disposable income to send ’em to private schools – then tough luck!).

Note: Was a little informal with the greeting – I’m usually of the “use official title here” type stuff, but was a bit sloppy. Guess that’s my useless public education that doesn’t deserve funding shining through. My apologies.

4 Responses to “Letter to NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli”

  1. on 04 Jul 2012 at 12:10bluntshovels

    Great points, particularly for the Nats. I know that they often think of high school as ‘when the kids go to the posh boarding school in the city’, but I’m constantly astounded that National Party pollies don’t support regional public education specifically, whatever their thoughts about education funding more broadly.

    It’s not like there’s a rush of private schools to rural areas.

  2. on 04 Jul 2012 at 12:46Nathan

    Well it’s particularly hypocritical when the current front page of his website is talking about Aboriginal issues – yet he’s just committed to reducing funding to the system which looks after a disproportionately high number of Aboriginal students. I guess funnelling more money to private schools rather than keeping support staff in public schools is more important.

    I wonder if it would be a good idea to have a requirement that any MP has to have their kids in public schools. That would focus their attentions a bit if they were required to interact with the public school system a bit more rather than just lobbying from private schools.

  3. on 04 Jul 2012 at 13:04Jan Schmidt

    Good job.
    I was a little bit confused by this sentence: ‘Public education services 80% of the aboriginal/TSI community, yet all things being equal – should be around 60%.’ – it took me a couple of passes to understand what you meant.

  4. on 04 Jul 2012 at 14:25Nathan

    Oh, I perhaps should have explained that better – if there are 30-40% of students in private schools, you’d expect there to be 30-40% of the Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander kids in it. And high needs..

    But because they exclude those students (either via socio-economic grounds) the public system deals with the most expensive/time consuming kids as well as the best kids (9 of top 10 academic result schools in Sydney are public). So by my reckoning that makes the private school system at best indirectly racist, at worst (e.g. if they were actually excluding aboriginal kids just because) directly racist.

    Just not sure how the minister can keep a straight face while talking aboriginal well-being on one hand, yet gutting the system that teaches majority of Aboriginal kids. Also, from a rural perspective, a much higher percentage of kids than in cities (again – National party should acknowledge this).

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