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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools

Catholic schools seeking election commitments

Catholic schools in Queensland are seeking commitments from all political parties that they will maintain and expand their support for Catholic education to ensure the best possible outcomes for 147,000 students.

Executive Director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, Dr Lee-Anne Perry said it was important that prior to the 25 November Queensland election all parties understood the needs of the state’s 302 Catholic schools.

“We have a number of priority issues we are putting before all parties,” Dr Perry said.

“Importantly, we need the continued support of whoever forms government through the maintenance of capital and recurrent funding at their current levels to ensure families have continued access to high quality, affordable Catholic education across Queensland.

“The Catholic sector has had strong support from successive governments and we are looking for assurances that that support will continue through a commitment from all parties to maintain recurrent and targeted program funding at current levels following recent changes in Federal funding arrangements.

“We are also seeking retention of the State Capital Assistance Scheme (currently worth about $27M annually to our sector) and the External Infrastructure Subsidy (currently worth about $5M annually).

Additionally, we have sought a commitment that the Capital Assistance Supplementary Scheme (presently worth an additional $25M annually) will be retained. This additional scheme was originally due to run from 2015-2017.”

“Catholic schools educate around one in five Queensland students, so we want to ensure that a future government is committed to funding levels that adequately support teaching and learning. We also need certainty around our plans to build new schools and expand existing schools in high growth areas to meet increasing demand.”

Dr Perry said the Catholic sector was also putting forward proposals for:
• Funding for up to 40 new Catholic kindergartens over four years
• Continuation of the highly successful Teacher Capability Program due to end in 2017
• A schools renewal program to update infrastructure more than 40 years old
• Support for more solar power infrastructure in Catholic schools
• Dollar for dollar funding to assist in providing housing for teachers in remote schools
• Ongoing support for parent engagement strategies.

“We will be writing to all parties to ask for their support for these initiatives. We look forward to being able to share the parties’ responses with our school communities as the election campaign continues,” she said.

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Media Contact: QCEC, Maree Lacey (07) 3316 5819