Open a failed charter school and keep the farm

Appalling contractual arrangements by the Government mean the trust running troubled charter school Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru will keep an 81-hectare farm if it is closed for poor performance, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Millions of dollars that should have gone into educating and supporting our most at risk kids is being flushed down the drain because of the Government’s failed charter school experiment.

“Hekia Parata’s hollow promise that the Government will use commercial negotiations to reclaim funding if one of these schools are to close is ridiculous given the contracts make it very clear there is no such provision.

“In fact charter schools could end up getting more money in the event they are closed early because the contracts allow them to claim committed costs.

“In the case of Whangaruru they have bought an 81-hectare farm they will be able to keep if their school is closed down for poor performance.

“Whangaruru has have effectively been told; set up a school, if it doesn’t work out you’ll get a free farm,” Chris Hipkins says.