Schools short­fall

CLASSES GET OVER­WHELMED

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Bruce McDougall

SCHOOLS will close or par­ents will be forced to pay more be­cause of a short­fall in funds for a grow­ing num­ber of stu­dents with a dis­abil­ity, Catholic ed­u­ca­tion chiefs warn.

The num­ber of chil­dren with spe­cial needs in Catholic schools has soared from 1391 in 1985 to 33,655.

Public schools are also bat­tling to ac­com­mo­date in­creas­ing num­bers of stu­dents with spe­cial needs.

The Na­tional Catholic Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion said more than 1700 Catholic schools were en­rolling “grow­ing num­bers of chil­dren with dis­abil­ity” but costs were out­pac­ing fund­ing.

“With­out sus­tain­able fund­ing, fees will in­crease, schools could close and the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion will be com­pro­mised,” the com­mis­sion told a se­nate in­quiry.

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