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The Southern Cross : March 2012
$2 inc. GST March 2012 TheSouthern Cross Part of your Catholic family since 1867 By Jenny Brinkworth Fo o o o a a a o of Co , p a co ac o E o O c 8 o a @ pa . a. d .a W b www. pa . a. d .a 792 G a d J c o oad G P a , o A a a 5086 ABN: 69 060 056 639 C ICO : 00824D A CA HOLIC CHOOL FO BO EA IN HE EDM ND ICE ADI ION Sunday 1 April 1 11am-- pm I od c c p o 2013 Time for compassion Gonski equity debate Pressure is mounting on the State Government to increase its level of funding to Catholic schools in South Australia in the wake of the Gonski report which calls for a collaborative effort to ensure adequate resourcing for every child's education. Responding to the most comprehensive review of education funding in Australia since 1972, Catholic Education Director SA Dr Paul Sharkey expressed cautious optimism about the impact on the 50,000 students attending Catholic schools in South Australia. "There is an enormous amount of work to be done to determine what impact the proposed new system of funding will have on families in Catholic schools who are already doing it tough," he said. "Catholic schools already operate at 90 percent of the resources available in government schools, even after you take into account parent contributions. Parents in South Australian Catholic schools are paying on average $600 more than Catholic parents interstate, as well as paying taxes. We are working with the State Government to address this imbalance. "The recommendations of the review can only be implemented if governments at all levels show their commitment to education by increasing funding at the level required as a matter of urgency." Federation of Catholic School Parent Communities (SA) Executive Director Ann Bliss also said students in Catholic schools in SA currently received the lowest level of State Government funding toward their education. She said the Federation would be "working closely" with South Australian Education Minister Grace Portolesi to address this inequity in light of the report's recommendations. She applauded the recommendation that the total cost of educating students with disabilities should be "fully publicly funded and applied equally to students in all schooling sectors". "This will be music to the ears of the families of these children who are in our schools now and those who wish to join our Catholic school communities in the future," she said. Minister Portolesi said on radio that she was committed to reviewing State funding in light of the Gonski report recommendations. Photo: Nat Rogers