An ACT Labor candidate has expressed his support for boosting funding for Catholic schools and the school chaplain program, contrary to the party’s official position. Source: Canberra Times.
Murrumbidgee candidate Brendan Long sent an email to the Catholic school principals in his electorate to say he found the funding proposal put forward by the director of Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Ross Fox compelling.
Dr Long said he was concerned with the level of funding for Catholic schools in Canberra and, if elected in the ACT’s October 17 general election, he would seek to advocate for the funding proposal in the Labor caucus.
Mr Fox called on parties to increase funding to Catholic schools to 25 per cent of the funding provided to public schools, warning that school fees would rise if the funding model wasn’t adopted.
The Canberra Liberals have committed to boosting funding by $16.8 million over four years if elected.
Education Minister Yvette Berry said ACT Labor’s position on Catholic school funding remained unchanged, with all schools to receive “fair funding” in line with the Schooling Resource Standard.”
Dr Long also expressed broad support for the federally funded school chaplain program, which was pulled out of ACT public schools at the end of 2019.
Ms Berry requested funding for chaplains to be extended to secular workers and when this was denied she decided to pull the program from government schools.
ACT election 2020: Labor candidate Brendan Long speaks out on Catholic education funding, school chaplain program (By Sarah Lansdown, Canberra Times)