It is not inevitable: The future funding of faith-based schools after Ruddock

The current public debate about the role and place of religion in Australia's education system feels very much like deja vu. The Religious Freedom Review2 may be new, but we've been here before. Religious schools have regularly been at the forefront of the evolving relationship between the state and religion in Australia, from the creation and collapse of the Church and Schools Corporation in the 1830s, and the implementation of the dual board system in the 1840s, to the removal of all government funding for religious schools in the 1860s-90s, and then its reintroduction in the 1960s and '70s.3 The current debate about the extent to which religious schools will continue to be permitted to discriminate against students, staff and contractors in line with the religious ethos of the school is therefore just the latest reiteration of an ongoing narrative.
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