September 28, 2005


Parents offered school choice (Samantha Maiden, 29-09-2005, The Australian)

PARENTS will be offered greater choice of public schools under landmark reforms that could include taxpayer-funded vouchers for struggling students to spend in private schools.

Warning that parents were lying about where they lived to secure places at prestigious public schools, Education Minister Brendan Nelson called for an end to the geographical "zones" that forced families to move house or miss out on enrolment in high-performing public schools.

"We know that there are parents lying about where they live in order to get their children enrolled in certain government state schools around Australia," Dr Nelson said.

"There are also teachers queued up who want to teach in them. What we have discovered from parents is that what they are looking for is a school with a high level of communication between the school and parents, particularly about the progress of children."

His call for action will be backed today by Labor leader Kim Beazley.

In a speech to an education conference in Sydney, he will unveil reforms to ensure parents have greater choice between public schools in their region and specialist schools targeting trades, maths and science.

Choice will be the centrepiece of the radical rethink of the ALP's education policies, with Mr Beazley warning the premiers they must embrace reform or risk funding cuts.

Each would provoke the ire of his own party -- but that's sort of the point -- if George Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, and Junichiro Koizumi, at least, were to convene a grand summit on reforming the 20th century welfare state to meet the realities of the 21st century. Responsible leaders in the opposition could be invited and because there'd be a range of parties participating from across the Anglosphere it might help to defuse some of the suspicion and partisan rancor that each of these Third Way leaders currently faces as a result of poaching in his opposition party's territory.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 28, 2005 7:51 PM

. . . and the Lefties are all jumping on this bandwagon because they are unanymously pro-choice, right?

Posted by: obc at September 28, 2005 9:38 PM

His call for action will be backed today by Labor leader Kim Beazley.

Wow. Good for Mr. Beazley, then.

Posted by: John Thacker [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 28, 2005 10:15 PM