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Wednesday 8 May

In a move described as unjust by the Executive Director of Catholic Education Sandhurst Ms Kate Fogarty, the Allan Labor Government has excluded the vast majority of Catholic school families from the $400 School Savings Bonus announced in yesterday’s State Budget.

‘There are almost 87% of Catholic School families who will miss out on this much-needed support across our 56 schools which educate 20,000 (1 in 5) students in the Sandhurst Diocese.

‘Our families also face cost-of-living pressures, however, only those who hold healthcare cards (approximately 13%) are eligible for the program.

‘Like government schools, the majority of our Catholic school families fall within the low and middle-income brackets. Despite being taxpayers, they have been excluded from this initiative.

Ms Fogarty emphasized the need for equitable support across all educational sectors. ‘We believe the payment should apply to all students or be means-tested for everyone. It should not be based on the school attended,’ she said.

Ms Fogarty also pointed out that thousands of parents in regional Victoria are left wondering why the State Government refuses to assist them with their cost-of-living pressures while allocating funds to families in Melbourne’s wealthiest suburbs.

‘I call on the Victorian Government to treat all Victorians equally when deciding which school families receive financial support for cost-of-living pressures.

‘Our sector will urgently seek a meeting with the government to better understand why Catholic school families have been treated unfairly,” she concluded.

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