state Schools

State Schools good, Charter schools Baaaaad

Radio New Zealand has reproduced a PPTA piece that tries to make a case that a Hawkes Bay Charter School is highly funded. They did this by lumping in establishment costs along with an over-statement of 2017 operating funding and then compared it to the long-run per student average for State Schools.

A fair comparison would be for a new Charter high school to be compared to a recent State school establishment?like?Ormiston Senior College?which started in 2011. It was meant to grow to a roll of 1600 students but by 2015 it only had 445. It had all year levels available by 2013. It cost approximately $22 million for land (one-third of the cost for three schools on site – Primary, Junior College, Senior) and $31.3 million for buildings. Add another $1.5m for establishment funding and in 2015 it is also listed as receiving $7688 per student (plus centralised services).

Using the PPTA formula that works out at $130,834 per student. Quite a bit more than even the PPTA’s nonsensical comparison for the Charter School but then funding has never been the real reason why the PPTA has been opposed to partnership schools. Their opposition has always been ideological.
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What is the difference between a poorly performing state school and a poorly performing charter school?

When a charter school does not perform it is shut down. This is one of the many strengths of the charter school model. Charter schools are accountable. Charter schools either succeed or they fail. If they fail they are shut down. A poorly performing state school, however, is allowed to continue to fail year after year after year, yet education unions have focused all their energy on wiping out charter schools no matter how well they are performing.

Thousands of children are spending most or all their years of education in a poorly performing school, a new report has found.

A third of New Zealand’s underperforming schools are persistent low achievers, some of which have been that way for up to 10 years, says a report put out this morning by think-tank New Zealand Initiative.

…Many schools were failing to meet Education Review Office (ERO) quality measures, the report said. It also warned that “some schools, despite intervention, perform poorly for as long as, and in some cases, longer than, the entire school career of their students – with possibly serious implications for the students in them and the state of our nation”.

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Bulk funding gives Charter schools an advantage but is bad for State schools

As I read the following article I was amused. In all the critical articles written about Charter schools they describe bulk funding as an advantage. They say that Charter schools having the flexibility to spend the money how they want to allows them to do things that State schools cannot do. ?They can provide free uniforms for example, free breakfasts, free stationery and can pay the teachers more. This is actually criticised as it is seen as giving Charter schools an advantage over State schools.

Unlike State schools, Charter schools are not supplied by the government with buildings or swimming pools or playing fields. The money they get has to pay for all of that, as well as teacher salaries, yet they have still managed to pay their teachers the same or more than State schools and provide their students with access to buildings, swimming pools and playing fields. They make use of public facilities to get the biggest bang for their buck.

Now that bulk funding is being proposed for State schools it has magically been transformed into a bad thing and the critics of bulk funding for Charter schools are concerned that State schools will end up paying their teachers less. One of the things about Charter schools that State schools should emulate is the managers who handle all of the budget, leaving the principal free to focus on education. Having an expert on money management on staff is a key difference between Charter schools and State schools.

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Charter Schools are actually a Socialist’s wet dream


The total cost of sending child to state school for 13 years tops $35,000. -Fairfax NZ

State schools are not as free as we think they are. Charter schools on the other hand, have been criticised for providing free services by both Labour and the PPTA. At West Auckland Middle School, uniform is provided, stationery is provided, no donations are asked for and no trip or sports fees are required.

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Two Politicians, two very different parties but a common belief in a ‘ Fair go ‘

After the story of the Student teacher hit the headlines I approached three politicians for comment and their responses are below. Two of them have a common belief in a ‘fair go’ for the Student teacher which is heartening to see.

Labour Party?s Spokesperson for Education, Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins

Chris Hipkins,Labour Party?s spokesperson for Education.

I don’t comment on specific employment matters.

On the general issue, I would expect all trainee teachers to be given full support to complete their qualifications. They should not be discriminated against based on gender, race, sexuality, past employment, or future employment prospects.

– Chris Hipkins

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