Education Department officials in Victoria are being questioned by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption commission (IBAC). Amongst other things, there have been allegations of stealing public money to throw lavish parties and go on holidays.
The lavish ‘lunches and mates’ culture at the top of the Education Department is a slap in the face to public school students and their families, who are told every year there is simply not enough money to go around. It is also a massive insult to teachers, who work long hours for little pay, and are now under what in practice amounts to a performance pay regime.
The teachers’ union leadership, who during the last pay dispute described Victoria as having ‘the leanest departmental bureaucracy in the nation’, have worked hard promoting the Gonski review as an answer to shortcomings in education funding. Gonski calls for public schools to seek out philanthropic benefactors, cements funding for private schools, and even opens the door to American-style charter schools!
Victorian public schools face constant neglect while corruption and corporate tax-dodging is the norm. Corruption needs to be weeded out and corporations need to be taxed more so that we can improve the public education system.
By Chris Dite