WE are jointly writing in response to Dr Michael Furtado’s recent letter (CL 3/2/08) regarding Catholic school funding and the socio-economic profile of families in Catholic schools.
The Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) and the Parents and Friends Federation work in close partnership on a wide range of issues, including government funding, for the benefit of all 287 Catholic school communities around the state.
QCEC and the federation are united in striving to maximise the resources that flow to these schools and reducing the increasing financial burden on Catholic school parents.
The most recent state and federal elections have been good examples where the commission and the federation have jointly developed positions, produced materials and effectively lobbied government on behalf of Catholic education.
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) too plays a key role and developed a detailed submission that formed the basis of our recent federal election requests and will underpin the upcoming review of federal funding arrangements for the next quadrennium (2009-2012) by the Rudd Government.
Research showing that fewer children from poorer Catholic families are enrolling in Catholic schools has increasingly engaged the attention of Catholic education leaders at both state and national levels.
The reasons for this trend occurring and the potential responses however are less clear.
The QCEC has already responded proactively to the issue by commissioning research to find out exactly why this is the case – a critical project that goes to the heart of the purpose and mission of Catholic education in reaching out to the poor and marginalised.
Both QCEC and the Parents and Friends Federation are committed to ensuring Catholic schools receive as much funding support as possible and that they remain accessible to all who seek their values.
Of course this remains an ongoing challenge and our organisations welcome input into the discussion from Dr Furtado and indeed all members of our education and wider Church communities.
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