The Government should be ensuring all schools are properly funded rather than pumping up to five times more into a proposed new Caribbean-style international franchise charter school in Porirua, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Northgate College will teach five- to seven-year-olds and be run by the Trinidad and Tobago-based Davidic Centre Trust. As a charter school, it will receive much more funding than students in nearby state schools.
“That is simply unfair.
“The Trust says it wants its pupils ‘to grow up with a holistic understanding of the world and their place in it’. Surely we want that for all our kids.
“Importing multinational chains will not create the quality education system Kiwi parents want and deserve for their children.
“Having schools compete against each other for resources is a recipe for disaster in our education system. It is also a waste of time and energy which could be better spent teaching our kids.
“Education Minister Hekia Parata has refused to rule out mergers if the rolls of neighbouring state schools fall after a charter school has opened in the area.
“The five already established charter schools received an extra $9 million over four years in this year’s Budget. These charter schools already receive up to $40,000 per student per year – over five times what local state schools operating in the same areas get.
“Rather than back winners, Hekia Parata must ensure that every school has the resources it needs to give their students the best possible education,” Chris Hipkins says.