Abolish compulsory education fees in South Australian DECD schools.
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GIVE PARENTS A BREAK, NOT A COURT DATE
We represent ‘Parents Against Compulsory School Fees', and we demand;
THAT THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT ABOLISH COMPULSORY SCHOOL FEES WITHIN ALL DECD SCHOOLS, AND RETURN TO A VOLUNTARY PAYMENT SYSTEM
Our petition has a simple purpose. We believe that EDUCATION SHOULD BE FREE, and seek to see South Australia RETURN TO a time that parents had the choice to help, when they could. To do this, we need your help.
DID YOU KNOW;
- That to access South Australia's 'free public education system', families will often be forced to pay over $3000 per year for the average family with 3 children. South Australia has the HIGHEST compulsory primary and secondary public school fees in the world.
- That non-payment of school fees has resulted in the Department of Education taking 2000 struggling families to court every year, to enforce payment of these fees. Families have had their credit ratings destroyed, had belongings confiscated, and had garnishing orders or caveats put on their homes FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL FEES
- That reports show that South Australian families are selling personal belongings in order to pay school fees, excursion fees, and IT fees, all of which are compulsory curriculum items.
- That students in most DECD secondary schools are now also REQUIRED TO PURCHASE A LAPTOP OR DEVICE FROM THEIR DECD SCHOOL at the parents cost, in addition to ongoing inflated service and repair charges, and on top of legally recoverable materials and services charges every year.
- That South Australia is one of only a handful of states that REQUIRES PARENTS TO PAY COMPULSORY, LEGALLY RECOVERABLE SCHOOL FEES for DECD schools. In most states, education is offered for free, or by voluntary payment.
- That parents in low and middle income households are having to withdraw their children from subjects and programs as a result of ADDITIONAL MATERIALS AND SERVICES charges being demanded by DECD schools, however, students of unemployed parents who are in receipt of Centrelink income are granted free access to education, and are in most cases, funded to access programs not seen as affordable by most fee paying parents.
- That despite South Australia having stagnant wages growth, and having seen one of the lowest increases in property prices in mainland Australia, that compulsory fees for DECD schools have in some cases increased over 500% in the last 10 years, and will continue to increase until abolished.
- That despite school fees being mandatory and legally recoverable, it is called a fee, and not a tax or levy, and is not taken into account by the ATO, or used in calculating PAYG or personal tax, unlike Medicare or HECS.
- That as a result of the zoning system, parents must pay the fees set by the school in their zone, along with any IT or other requirements, which in some suburbs, can equal over $1000 - $3000 in a single year per student.
- That the average parents of 3 children will pay between $1000 & $3000 per year, or over $50,000 over their children’ s schooling career, in order to pay for their children’s ‘Free Education’.
- That despite South Australia having the HIGHEST POWER PRICES in the world, one of the highest costs of living in the Western world, and a compulsory schooling until age 17, the South Australian Government insist that parents prop up our underfunded SCHOOL SYSTEM.
- That the Federal Government’s Gonski 2.0 plan works on the assumption that each state will offer education for free to all students, however, the South Australian Government instead wants parents to pay higher and higher fees for education.
- That successive SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENTS HAVE DIVERTED FUNDING AWAY from education in South Australia, and yet, PROVIDE & SUPPORT OVERSEAS AID TO COUNTRIES TO PROVIDE FREE EDUCATION TO THEIR CITIZENS.
- That Article 26 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, WRITTEN AND RATIFIED BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVENMENT, states in Article 26 that ‘EDUCATION SHOULD BE FREE’’.
THIS MUST STOP. Education is a right for all, but more than that, it is our future. So many parents in South Australia already struggle with simple cost of living pressures, while successive governments use parents as a cost saving measure. WE MUST STAND AND LET OUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT KNOW............WE WONT ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE.
We must demand that the Department for Education & Child Development return to a policy of voluntary fees, allowing parents to choose food, electricity or clothes OVER COMPULSORY SCHOOL FEES.
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