Flooding charter schools with taxpayer cash not on

The National government is preparing to throw large sums of taxpayer cash at charter schools even before legislation allowing for them has been passed into law, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Documents released today make it clear that National is putting the funding needs of charter schools ahead of public schools.

“Not only will charter schools get money for setup costs, they will get property funding that their private sector backers will be able to keep should the school fold.

“Charter schools will also get their hands on funding for additional student support that public schools don’t get to control.

“The schools are going to be funded as if they are a low decile school regardless of where their students actually come from. So much for funding based on need.

“Many of our existing public schools are struggling just to supply the basics. They could also do wonderful and innovative things if the government was willing to throw money at them as well.

“To add insult to injury, expressions of interest are due in before the legislation has even passed into law.

“So all those submitters who argued that charter schools should have to have qualified teachers, and should be subject to the Official Information Act and Ombudsman legislation have wasted their time. The government has decided to ignore their concerns before the select committee has considered their submissions.

“The whole concept of charter schools is based on the failed notion that increased competition and introducing a profit-motive will lead to better educational outcomes. Even the Treasury has argued that’s nonsense.

“Labour is committed to making sure every school is a great school. That’s where the current government should be focussing too,” Chris Hipkins said.