Kids bear the costs of Govt’s charter school experiment

The Minister of Education must step up and take responsibility for the children at Whangaruru School who have been failed by her charter school experiment, the Green Party said today.

Education Minister Hekia Parata has today confirmed her earlier recommendation to close the experimental charter school, Whangaruru School, in Northland.

“The children who were experimented on in Northland have been shortchanged by the Government on their education,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said today.

“The Minister of Education must not wash her hands of the children of Whangaruru. These kids were the unwitting victims of the charter school experiment and the Minister must now promise all the resources that they need to ensure their education can be salvaged.

“It is particularly concerning that Hekia Parata chose to open Whangaruru in the first place as the Ministry of Education had raised concerns that it was not ready. Those concerns were repeatedly overruled.

“The resources that went into propping up a school that was never ready to open was a waste that could have been spent on supporting these students properly.

“There was never any evidence that charter schools would do well by Māori, kids with special needs, and those from poorer families – the groups who are supposed to be the priority students for enrolment.

“The charter school experiment is gambling with our kids’ future and with resources that are sorely needed in the education sector.

“The kids of Whangaruru should now get the full help of the Government to get back what they have lost, and the Minister should do everything within her power to get this done,” Ms Delahunty said.

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