Page 1737 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 4 May 2011

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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (10.02): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) that Catholic Schools Week is being celebrated throughout all ACT Catholic schools from 1 May to 7 May;

(b) that the Catholic school system is an integral component of the ACT’s education system, educating 26 per cent of students in the ACT;

(c) that Catholic schools have the right to retain their autonomy to manage their schools in accordance with their values;

(d) the importance of the continuation of block funding so that funding can be distributed according to need;

(e) that parents have the right to choose the kind of education they want for their children; and

(f) that the Catholic school system educates a comprehensive demographic range of students; and

(2) calls on the:

(a) Minister for Education and Training and the Treasurer to make representations to the Commonwealth Government to ensure that funding for this sector does not decrease in real terms;

(b) Commonwealth and ACT Governments to ensure that Catholic schools continue to be an accessible choice for parents to educate their children; and

(c) ACT Government to provide disaggregation of per student total expenses paid in monetary terms from ACT and Commonwealth Government sources and to report this to the Assembly by the end of this current financial year.

Mr Speaker, Victor Hugo once said, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” This is a most apt commentary on the state of education in the ACT in recent years. As Catholic Schools Week is celebrated across Australia this week, it is timely to reflect on the celebration and acknowledge the contribution of the Catholic Church to Australian education.

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