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Australia Battles Privatization

An interview with Angelo Gavrielatos

RS: How extensive is government funding of private schools in Australia?

Gavrielatos: In Australia, the states and territories are primarily responsible for education, with the federal Commonwealth government providing important supplementary dollars. The federal government under Prime Minister John Howard has been the main cheerleader for private schools.

Support has increased so dramatically that in the federal government's school funding plans for 2005–08, private schools will receive more money than public schools — even though roughly two-thirds of all children are in public schools.

The government funding is not through vouchers, in the way that term is used in the United States, even though the end result is the same. We have direct government funding of private schools based on the number of their pupils.

RS: How did government aid to private schools begin?

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