Bonuses for charter schools, deficits for state schools

Four charter schools were paid $60,000 in performance bonuses last year despite only one of them fully complying with their contract, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act show Education Minister Hekia Parata was advised that three of the four schools had failed to meet all their obligations, but she gave them bonuses anyway.

“A fifth charter school – the recently closed school at Whangaruru – didn’t receive a bonus but did get paid out an additional $400,000 of taxpayers funds at the beginning of this year. That money is unlikely to be recovered.

“While Hekia Parata continues to shovel money at charter schools that are already awash with cash, state and state integrated schools are under increasing financial strain.

“In fact 41 percent of state schools reported a deficit in 2014, while every charter school is reporting profits, one as large as $765,000 – that’s a 30 per cent surplus!

“The National Government are clearly more interested in throwing money at charter school experiments than properly funding our public schools. That means most parents will be forced to pay more and more for their child’s supposedly ‘free’ education,” Chris Hipkins says.