Go ahead for charters schools wrong

The Green Party is warning all four organisations named as new partnership schools by Education Minister Hekia Parata today that they will have no future under a new Government.

Ms Parata's decision to name the four organisations breaks with a long held convention for the Government of the day to refrain from making significant political decisions in the days before an election.

"This decision should not have been made just days before an election, which could ultimately lead to charter schools ceasing to exist," Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

"It's doubly irresponsible to commit an additional $15.5 million for these experimental schools in a week where there's been revelations of serious under-enrolment in existing schools, and major management issues in at least one school.

"There's been no review of the existing schools to see if they're working. And all the evidence so far is that they are not good value for the millions of dollars that's been ploughed into them.

"It is completely irresponsible to open up more of these expensive schools when there is no evidence that they work, and when no one wants them apart from the Act Party and a handful of groups who want to own their own school.

"Act has made no secret of its plans for public education to be taken over by private organisations. Another three years of a National/Act Government poses real threats for the future of a strong, free and inclusive public education system, which is what New Zealand needs.

"Carving off swathes of the public education sector to give to private organisations, and then spending disproportionate amounts of money on them, is not the answer.

"The answer is dealing with the impact of poverty on children's education by establishing schools as community hubs in low decile areas, and providing the support that kids with learning difficulties need," Ms Delahunty said.

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