Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment

Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding for each of its 56 pupils. That is more than four times the funding nearby state schools receive for their students.

“Yet for all this money an internal report by the Ministry of Education found it was a mess from the start, with absenteeism and drug use forcing the Government to install a governor almost immediately.

“It is alarming that Education Minister Hekia Parata is now considering applications for further charter schools.

“What is even more concerning is that National’s potential coalition partner ACT – in the unlikely event it is returned to Parliament – believes every school should have the opportunity to become a charter school.

“A Labour Government will repeal this disastrous experiment.

“We will give teachers more time with their pupils by employing 2000 extra teachers and improve the quality of their work by boosting their professional development. We will also ensure every child from Year Five has access to an affordable digital device, upgrade and modernise classrooms, and scrap so called ‘voluntary’ donations.

“Labour is committed to a world-class, publicly-funded education system where all Kiwi kids have the same opportunity to be the very best they can be,” Chris Hipkins says.