THE Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) has been ‘heartened’ by the response from political parties to its demands in the lead-up to the February 7 state election, said the commission’s executive director Joe McCorley.
Queensland Catholic education authorities had put their case to the major political parties for increases in recurrent funding and additional capital monies for Catholic schools, especially new schools in growth areas.
The authorities had placed eight requests before the National, Liberal, Labor and Greens parties.
Mr McCorley said the commission was very encouraged by the Government’s responses on capital provisions, funding for the preparatory year of schooling and on ICT (information, communication and technology) provisions.
‘(We were) disappointed with the attention given to recurrent funding and air-conditioning of Catholic schools,’ Mr McCorley said.
He said the level of understanding of the Coalition parties and the Greens showed in an expression of a commitment to real partnership with Catholic education if they were elected to government.
In making its requests, QCEC indicated the State Government provided Catholic schools with 21 cents for every dollar contributed to state schools.
One of the requests was for this to be increased by 1 per cent in 2004 and increasing to 2 per cent by 2004.
In responding to the QCEC, Premier Peter Beattie said the cost of that would be about $28.8 million for all non-state schools, including about $16.59 million for Catholic schools.
He said that particular funding scheme was being reviewed over the next few months, with any new arrangements starting in 2005.
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