#959 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 14 Sep 2014.
The National School Chaplaincy Association has urged the ACT and South Australian governments to accept the federal government’s offer to fund school chaplaincy.
Late last month the Abbott government modified its National School Chaplaincy Program after the High Court ruled the funding model invalid.
ACT Education Minister Joy Burch, and her South Australian counterpart, Jennifer Rankine, said they would accept federal funding of school chaplaincy only if schools were able to use the funds to employ non-religious chaplains.
NSCA spokesperson Peter James said he was mystified “that the territory government would deny this extra element of care, in schools that have asked for it.”
Canberra-based school chaplain Steve Lindner said his role was not “to promote some sort of ideology” but to “be a listening ear” for students and staff.
An overwhelming majority of school principals, teachers, students and parents support the school chaplaincy program in its current form.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.