The federal government is about to inject the largest ever chunk of cash into the country’s school system and Andrew Bolt isn’t happy about the Department of Education’s requirements for acknowledgment of funding.

Julia Gillard, our beloved Deputy Prime Minister, is to be admired. And that’s now official.

Every school in the country has been ordered to put up plaques in praise of Gillard and her wise generosity.

And not just plaques. They must also put up road signs in her honour, send out gushing emails and tell their local papers what a benefactor she is.

A whole team of bureaucrats has even been charged with ensuring the Gillard worship is done in the correct style.

They are especially adamant that every one of our 9540 schools also hold Julia Gillard parties, at which she, or a deputy, is given the prime speaking role—until the whole nation rises as one and roars: “Julia for Prime Minister!”

Total cost of this Gillard worship? I’d guess anywhere between $2 million and $4 million. And much of it, including the plaques, to be paid for by schools.

Requiring schools to pay for plaques and roadside signs that spruik the government’s generosity is ridiculous, considering the tightness of most public school budgets. Surely that money should be spent on education instead of advertising. However, schools don’t have to pay for the plaques and roadside signs. This is from the government’s funding guidelines (RTF document):

Plaques: Schools will be required to affix a plaque, to be supplied by the Commonwealth, to all completed projects. This includes, but is not limited to, new buildings and substantially refurbished buildings.

Where a plaque cannot be attached to a project because of the nature of the project, then a plaque must be placed in an appropriate location in the school, such as the front foyer or administration area.

Roadside signs: Schools will be required to affix a roadside sign, to be supplied by the Commonwealth, in front of the school for projects being funded under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century and Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools.

Doesn’t look quite so bad now.

(Thanks to James)

UPDATE: Andrew has edited his online version of the column, removing the phrase “including the plaques”.

Total cost of this Gillard worship? I’d guess anywhere between $2 million and $4 million. And much of it to be paid for by schools.

I can’t see any acknowledgment of this change on his blog post.

UPDATE II: Hours later, Andrew has acknowledged his error and correction in the post.

(This column has had a minor correction made on the funding of the plaques. See explanation in comments below.)

Shame you’ve got to wade through 100+ comments to find the explanation.

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