To: Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Hon Bill Shorten MP, Hon Simon Birmingham MP, Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, & all MPs & Senators

FairGo4AllKids - Save Our Schools

FairGo4AllKids - Save Our Schools

Dear Members of Parliament & Senators,

Please STOP the passage of the new Gonski 2.0 education laws through Federal Parliament which will hike school fees by 50%-100% for some low fee systemic schools in Australia. While we support fairness & equality in education & the overall principles of Gonski 2.0 to deliver quality education to all students, we do not support our elected politicians taking away the right of parental choice when it comes to where parents send their kids to school.

THE PROBLEM:

Why do we oppose the proposed amendments on low fee systemic schools? It's simple, because some schools may be forced to shut down. A 50%-100% fee hike is a hard slog for Aussie families at a time when the cost of living is already high. These measures are a lose-lose for all Aussie families, students & the future of education in our bright country. Families, for example of low fee Catholic schools, will be forced to seek an education at local public schools, putting even more pressure on our public school system.

There could be hundreds of thousands of new students seeking a public education. Why? Because the average cost of some of these local Catholic schools is currently $5,000 per year per child. This could soar to $10,000 in 2018 per child. Given the average Aussie wage is not more than $80,000 per annum that's a steep increase & with no warning (Full-time earnings in Australia averaged A$78,832 a year in the second quarter of 2016, seasonally adjusted wages – Bureau of Statistics).

We urge all sides of politics to consider the unintended consequences of not allowing Catholic schools to determine how they allocate funds & significantly amend, or block the Government's Bill until sensible amendments are made.

AN IMMEDIATE SOLUTION:

There's a simple option that Government can adopt. Maintain the status quo & keep funding arrangements for example for low fee systemic Catholic schools the same as it's been for many years, with the Catholic Education system determining the fair allocation of funds (not based solely on postcodes!) The Government's trying to sneak these reforms through, with no real consultation with the parents of Australia on the proposed reforms apart from a lofty last minute Senate Inquiry.

We ask this in the interests of all Catholic school students in Australia. Keep diversity in Australian education #fairgo4allkids #diversityineducation #saveourschools

Sincerely, the Mums & Dads of Australia who care about the future of ALL schools in Australia (*BTW, we're a bunch of Aussie parents who sat around a kitchen table together on the June long weekend with lamingtons, because we CARE about the future of diversity in education in our country*)

Why is this important?

WHAT'S THE ISSUE IN A NUTSHELL (Beware: this is a tough one to summarise on FB or Twitter, the media are even having trouble, but we'll have a go)

The Turnbull Government wants to pass new education funding laws that will be bad for all Aussie kids. Why? We think it's to balance the Government's Budget, & they're turning to Aussie kids to sacrifice a fair & diverse education to make their Budget ends meet.

Many low fee systemic schools such as local Catholic school will see their fees will almost double in 2018 if the Government's 2017 Federal Budget measure on education funding gets the greenlight. And, without any formal consultation. It's a rushed and dangerous measure on a complex issue. The far reaching reforms were announced in May 2017 and this Government wants to push them through in a matter of weeks. This is unrealistic, unfair & seems to suggest the Government doesn't take diversity in schools seriously.

HOW DOES IT IMPACT YOUR FAMILY? (You might have doubts but c'mon keep reading, you're smart, you've got this)

You might say, so what, my kids aren't at a low fee systemic school or local Catholic school? Sure, & that's totally OK, but this does affect everyone (stay with us here).

Under the Government's proposal when fees go up 50%-100% at your low fee systemic school or local Catholic school, many of those families will be forced to enrol at your local public school. Hundreds of thousands of low fee systemic school students could be seeking a public education as a result of the Government's proposals. Why? Because a 50%-100% hike is a hard slog at a time when many families are already doing it tough with bills, the costs of living, housing prices & the list goes on. Local public schools will bear the brunt. There's nothing good to be gained by shutting kids out of a low fee systemic school & local Catholic education.

HOW CAN I HAVE A SAY? (Aha, it's your moment to shine)
It's super easy - sign this online petition while you make vegemite on toast/weet-bix/neither before you drop the kids at school today!

1. Sign the #fairgo4allkids #saveourschools petition now. All it takes is a click of your mouse & woot your message will go to our pollies in Canberra!

WHAT DO WE WANT?

- We could go on & on but let's cut to the chase (after all you've read this far, you're awesome, go on treat yourself to that Tim Tam!)
- This is about the future of low fee systemic & local Catholic schools - if local Catholic schools shut their doors local public schools which are already overcrowded, under resourced & under funded will cop the fall out of an unaffordable local Catholic school education. Think more demountables, over sized classes & less resources for kids in public schools. Even the playground will be bursting at the seams & forget after school care for working families, the lists will be too long. And, think this could be the end to local Catholic schools...
- A FAIR education for all Aussies kids: where families can choose between the local public, independent or Catholic school to educate their kids, parental choice in education is key
- A REVIEW of the Government's proposal: we are calling on the Government to maintain the status quo for low fee systemic schools. Australia is already low in the global education rankings, we can't afford our kids to slip any further behind
- We ASK the Government to amend the Bill as it relates to low fee systemic schools, & if not for the Opposition, Greens & crossbench to block this Bill immediately until appropriate amendments are made that do not discriminate against kids who do not attend public schools

A FAIR GO FOR ALL AUSSIE KIDS (because our kids & beliefs come in all cool shapes & sizes)

We will fight for all Aussie kids to have the right to an affordable education, whether that be at an independent, public, religious or non religious school. The red bullseye target of these reforms is low fee systemic schools which includes local Catholic schools. Unbelievable & wrong...Catholic kids matter.

KEEP DIVERSITY IN AUSTRALIA (stay with us here, think your biggest teenage crush who went to a Catholic school)

Australia is a diverse country, with diverse people of all backgrounds & walks of life. We must keep this diversity in our education system. Think of all the humanitarians, philanthropists, world class surgeons, elite athletes, celebrities (even politicians, yes!) who experienced a Catholic education at their local Catholic school, schools which could be a institution of the past.

WHO ARE THE WINNERS & LOSERS?

If the Federal Government proceeds with this legislation that could kill many local Catholic schools, then the losers will be our kids & families across Australia. Everyone should win when it comes to education & the future of our bright nation. The Government's cunning plan goes against everything our nation stands for. KEEP DIVERSITY IN AUSSIE EDUCATION.

(Phew, you made it! Thanks so much for caring about Aussie kids & education. You legend you! Special brownie points for forwarding the petition link to all your friends. Cheers).

How it will be delivered

We will hand deliver your petition to our politicians (& we may even jump on a #fairgo4allkids school bus to get your petition to Canberra)...Thanks team for all you do & for fighting this good fight! #fairgo4allkids #saveourschools


Reasons for signing

  • We are easing the burden of the Public school system and we are getting punished by sending them to a Catholic School? Pathetic if you ask me!!!
  • This is not fair
  • I have two kids that goes to Catholic School and we are trying our best to provide them a better education

Updates

2017-06-16 14:05:04 +1000

5,000 signatures reached

2017-06-12 14:56:31 +1000

1,000 signatures reached

2017-06-11 20:51:50 +1000

500 signatures reached

2017-06-10 22:04:26 +1000

100 signatures reached

2017-06-10 20:39:30 +1000

50 signatures reached

2017-06-10 18:50:50 +1000

25 signatures reached

2017-06-10 18:20:26 +1000

10 signatures reached