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Greens condemn Coalition school policy and venue choice

Media Release
Penny Wright 29 Aug 2013

The Australian Greens have today condemned the Coalition’s education policy for not backing public schooling and questioned the venue choice for the launch.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright said Penrith Christian School’s position on homosexuality also highlighted out-dated discrimination exemptions applying to religious schools.

“What’s more shocking than the school’s statements around homosexuality is that Australian law still allows religious schools to expel students and fire teachers on the basis of their sexuality,” Senator Wright said.

“The Australian Greens have been campaigning to remove out-dated religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws and make religious organisations which receive government funding, like schools, uphold community standards.”

Senator Wright said education policy announced by Tony Abbott and the Coalition today would do little to address the long-term inequalities holding back Australian educational performance.

“Not only is Tony Abbott misleading voters when he says the Coalition is matching Labor on schools funding, the policies released today show little respect or benefit for the public school system.

“While giving schools more autonomy can be appropriate in some areas of functioning, the evidence shows independent public schools can actually entrench inequality.

“Unlike Mr Abbott, The Australian Greens will champion public education by committing a further $2 billion on top of the Government’s school funding plan.”

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