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budget boost for adventist schools but foreign aid cut tracey bridcutt

scars remain In Nigeria, Islamist militant group Boko Haram has released 82 of the 276 kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls. The mostly Christian hostages were captured in April 2014, sparking the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. They, and thousands of other hostages still detained, have suffered torture, rape and indoctrination and have been forced to fight.—The Guardian

smoke signals A challenge to Australia’s plain packaging tobacco laws at a World Trade Organisation disputes panel has failed, say insiders. That is emboldening more countries to enact similar marketing restrictions. Tobacco companies may appeal and some alcohol and junk food industries are concerned they’ll be targeted next.—Bloomberg Markets

old story, ever new The Holman Christian Standard Bible has been revised and released as the Christian Standard Bible. The publishers claim it achieves the optimum balance between literal accuracy and readability, is the result of the work of conservative Christian translators and “champion[s] the Bible against cultural trends that would compromise its truths”.—CSB

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Adventist record | JUNE 3, 2017

adventist schools will receive a funding boost.

The 2017 Australian Federal Budget will benefit Adventist schools but continues the decline in Australia’s overseas aid expenditure. While Adventist Education leaders have applauded the Government’s new approach to school funding, ADRA Australia has expressed disappointment at the cuts to foreign aid. Responding to the changes to school funding, Adventist Schools Australia national director Dr Daryl Murdoch said it was a long overdue and much-needed review. “The Turnbull Government is to be applauded for its courage in addressing a broad range of funding anomalies to create a fair, sector-blind approach to schools funding,” he said. “Overall, Adventist Education stands to benefit considerably. There are a few schools where there may be some short-term impact. These are a small group of schools, which tend to be in high socio-economic areas. However, the majority of our schools and school companies will benefit significantly over the next decade.” According to the Government’s online School Funding Estimator, Adventist schools across Australia will be better off, but much of the expected increase is simply inflation adjustment. Real clarity around any firm increase will only emerge as the dust settles. It should be noted that the legislation is yet to go before the Parliament so these figures could be subject to

change. If all goes to plan, however, the injection of funds will provide certainty in relation to school funding for the next decade, according to Dr Murdoch. “This will allow schools to plan strategically to strengthen the delivery of quality Adventist education,” he said. “We applaud the additional $A300m over the decade in capital funding to enable independent schools to expand capacity to provide choice and diversity in the Australian education landscape.” However, ADRA Australia has expressed disappointment in the Budget in the wake of further cuts to the overseas aid program. The Government announced that the aid budget would rise with inflation for the next two years, however the following two years will see a budget freeze, resulting in a $A303 million cut. ADRA Australia CEO Mark Webster said the decision was disappointing. “Maintaining historically low levels of aid means Australia is contributing less than our fair share,” he said. “Australia is a generous nation and we believe our Government’s priorities should reflect this. “Australian aid has achieved a lot of good, and goodwill, so it is disappointing to see this impact challenged by the projected cuts to the aid program.” Australia’s overseas development assistance as a percentage of national income equates to just 22 cents out of every $100.

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