Michael Danby MHR

Tel:  (03) 9534 8126
Fax: (03) 9534 1575

117 Fitzroy Street
St Kilda VIC 3182

PO Box 2086
St Kilda West 3182
Danby calls for Ministerial Discretion for Poorer Jewish Schools

Labor Member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby today called for Education Minister Dr David Kemp to change policy so that discretion can be shown by the Federal Government for funding procedures that disadvantage poorer Jewish Schools. Mr Danby stated, “Under the present structure schools such as Yeshivah, Beth Rivkah and Adass are unfairly penalised. This is because of the number of students who live in areas such as Caulfield and East St.Kilda.”

Mr Danby believes that the legislation does not adequately take into account that these students are required to live in these areas, due to the walking proximity to Synagogues. Mr Danby pointed out that “Under Dr Kemp’s funding model, Adass Israel has a higher SES score than Geelong Grammar. This suggests that Geelong Grammar is poorer than Adass Israel. Anyone with the slightest common sense knows that this is not so.”

“For three years I have fought for the specific needs of those Jewish schools who have suffered due to the Federal Government’s new funding structure. I have continually questioned Dr. Kemp and the education department on this issue. Parents of students in Jewish schools in Melbourne Ports are aware of how Dr Kemp’s SES funding model disadvantages schools like Adass Israel, Yeshivah and Sholem Aleichem.”

The Labor Party has committed to existing funding for all Jewish Schools including Mount Scopus and Bialik. Shadow Education Minister Michael Lee stated, “There is no qualification on Labor’s promise that every Jewish school will get their full funding entitlements throughout the whole quadrennium”

“In addition, Labor is committed to a review of the SES model that would iron out Dr Kemp’s inequities, like these faced by Jewish Schools. In the meantime, if elected, I will be asking Michael Lee to work on interim exemptions from the current level of funding specifically for these disadvantaged Jewish schools. I call on Dr Kemp to do the same.”

Mr Danby pointed out that parents of students from Jewish schools should not be concerned, “If a Beazley government is elected my closer relationship with the Labor party will enable Jewish schools to have a greater voice on the political stage. This applies throughout the parliamentary session and not only in the midst of a campaign.”

Authorised by Michael Danby 117 Fitzroy Street St Kilda VIC 3182