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Education was early an important issue in the 2004 Australian legislative election, when in January 2004, John Howard said, in effect, that there were no values in the public schools.
This invited backlash from schools and families, particularly those who go to Government schools.
Teachers of all education levels had strikes all through 2004.
The issue of how much funding to give non-Government schools heated up significantly during the election campaign. Mark Latham announced in the television debate that he would cut or freeze funding from non-Government schools like Kings' in Sydney that are in the SES 1 bracket of Government Funding to schools.
Higher education was important in the campaign too. The Liberals announced that they would fund students who took up a trade, and that they would build new technical schools of excellence. Labor said, however, that they would reduce the 25% HECS on university students, and create 12,000 TAFE and university places.