Good news for schools

August 20, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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The Australian Council of Jewish Schools, representing students in Jewish schools throughout Australia, has welcomed the Liberal/National Party Coalition commitment, made at Sydney’s Masada College, to continue and expand funding to help address the security needs of our schools….and the commitment of the ALP.
acjsThe Hon Senator George Brandis QC, together with Mr Joshua Frydenberg MP member for Kooyong, announced that $18m will be made available over the 3-year period 2014-2016. The announcement commits the Coalition to increasing the existing funding programme by $1m in each of the years. The funds are intended to continue to provide security infrastructure needs and have been extended to allow assistance with recurrent costs such as guards where the law enforcement agencies assess it to be appropriate. Until now the security funding programme has only been available for capital costs.

The  ACJS issued a statement saying: “We want specifically to acknowledge the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Member for Wentworth for his support to this program and our schools and the assistance of Joshua Frydenberg for his dedication to his work with and the Jewish community generally to secure this commitment from the Coalition.

Our schools have historically expended significantly greater amounts than have now been promised, or have been allocated in the past. While these amounts are insufficient to meet all of the expenditure that has been assessed as necessary, every cent that the Government has allocated has been, and this further commitment, once implemented, is, sorely needed and is most appreciated.

Justice Stephen Rothman National Co Chair

Justice Stephen Rothman National Co Chair

Jewish schools, with others assessed as having similar needs, have undertaken extraordinary expenditure, which, in part, reflects the risk to our schools and their students. It is sad that such expenditure, on the best advice available to the government, is necessary and the continued support to address these needs is very welcome

We welcome and thank the Coalition for this initiative and for its support.”

But wait there’s more….

The ACJS, also  welcomed the continued commitment of the ALP to the security needs of schools.

As part of its programme in this area, initially promised by the ALP in the 2007 election campaign, and implemented by the government on its election and in subsequent elections, the ALP has now continued its commitment to the security of our students by the availability of further grants for schools with assessed security requirements. The initial implementation in 2008 has led to a bipartisan acceptance of the programme.

The ACJS said: “Our schools have expended significant amounts on security in terms of capital & recurrent costs [ the guards ], and continue to do so. These amounts are funds that, on any analysis, would otherwise be spent on the education of our children, and yet, due to the uncertainties of our time and the recognised threats, must be diverted to these necessary areas.

Our schools have historically expended significantly greater amounts than have now been promised, or have been allocated in the past. We also welcome the continued recognition of our special needs in this area & in particular the ability to use the funding towards recurrent costs.

The ALP Federal Government is to be commended for this programme, its implementation, and the continued commitment to its availability for our schools. We particularly commend the selfless and unwavering efforts of Hon Michael Danby MP, whose work on these issues has been essential, together with the efforts of the Prime Minister, the Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, and Minister Clare. We thank them all for supporting this Program

The Jewish schools look forward to working with the Federal Government to ensure a continued recognition of our needs and a continued allocation to redress the current burden of security expenditure. We also congratulate the ALP for its approval of recurrent funding as part of the initiative.”

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