Letters to the editor

PIC OF THE DAY: Gumboots and rainbows in Gerringong, snapped by @physio_sports_clinic Submit entries via nicolette.pickard@fairfaxmedia.com.au, Instagram or Facebook
PIC OF THE DAY: Gumboots and rainbows in Gerringong, snapped by @physio_sports_clinic Submit entries via nicolette.pickard@fairfaxmedia.com.au, Instagram or Facebook

Hardly a leftist plot

I write in response to B. Cumberland (Letters, May 10).

Let me declare from the outset that as a former teacher for 30 years I must be one of the "leftist teachers" to whom the letter refers. The letter is heavy on assertion and generalisation yet absent of any supporting evidence. 

Teachers cannot "hijack the curricula". The syllabus is set by the NSW Board of Studies and is mandated to all schools be they public, Catholic, independent or private.

Principals, teachers,volunteers, clergy and visitors can express opinions in conversations, playground interactions and in classroom humour. This is not mandated. Accountability of one's values and how these fit into and reflect whole school values and wider community values is often required by principals. B. Cumberland cites no examples of such biased teaching and so the comment is a cheap and hollow assertion.

"...Labor-like mast aided and abetted by Gonski himself". Gonski himself and former Gonski committee member Katherine Greiner (wife of former Liberal Premier Nick) are hardly card-carrying communists, both living in the Eastern Suburbs, and have sent their children to very well-off private schools in the area. One, at least, was on the board of the school. Thus, while their Gonski scheme was certainly devised under Gillard Labor, the original scheme cannot be stereotyped as some radical leftist plot.

Just a little aside here. In my time as a teacher, the radical union movement, to which B. Cumberland refers, was party to a reduction of 30 per cent of sick days for teachers. Soft and leftist, I think not!

With private health, if you choose to seek other than state-run, taxpayer funded, public health then you pay for private health yourself, 100 per cent of it, without any taxpayer assistance. That those choosing to take private health are also taxpayers is immaterial.

So, in the same way, if you choose to take your child to a school other than a state-run school then you should  pay for all of it. All of it, 100 per cent of it. But this is not so. You currently get to choose your private school, yes you pay fees, but the private school child gets similar tax money to the public school child. 

Gonski tried to address this and it has been reported that he, personally, was shocked by the inequities he found.

D. Swarts, Lake Tabourie

Libs deliver Labor budget

Phew! Good thing the Labor Party has a range of innovative and well thought out policies in tune with the community otherwise the Liberal Party may not have had much to put into their 2017 budget.

D. Hanlon, Vincentia

Next NDIS step needed

It is imperative that NDIS funding is approved in the Parliament so that people can get on with their lives.The 2017 federal budget lays the foundation for a strong and sustainable National Disability Insurance Scheme and is a welcome end to speculation about how the scheme would be fully funded, if at all.

With security for the immediate future of their support arrangements, people with a disability - and carers – will breathe a sigh of relief and begin to plan skills development, study, increased independence and a return to work.

For too long all of these things have been put on hold as people feared the NDIS would be starved of funds before it ever got going.

But it’s not just social capital that will grow. NDIS investment will also grow the economy as people with a disability increase their participation, along with a growing workforce of skilled support workers and therapists in cities and towns throughout the nation.

Funding the NDIS is a budget commitment that all Australians can be proud of.

A. Donne, Endeavour Foundation