What’s the issue?
The Government says charter schools give parents more freedom to choose the type of education that best suits their childâ€™s learning needs. It says they will help solve our â€œtail of under achieving students who have historically been under-served by the systemâ€.
Five charter schools opened in 2014, with very mixed results soon apparent. Another four got the green light to open in 2015. These schools can be governed and run by private companies to make a profit (not that any have yet), can employ unqualified teachers and compete with local schools for students. The schools already established have been funded at a much higher rate than comparable public schools, with millions of dollars in establishment funding on top. Charter school proponents deny it, but the figures show that charter schools are being funded at up to FOUR TIMES the per-student rate of nearby public schools, even when the separate funding of teacher salaries is added to the public schools’ operational funding. Most of the schools are operating at below their minimum guaranteed roll, but their funding has not been affected, as would be the case in a public school.
New Zealand students and schools do better than those in any of the countries where charter schools have been established. Charter schools in the UK and US have increased inequity overall and undermined public schools where most children go. US research shows most charter schools do worse or no better than mainstream public schools.
Charter schools are an ideological experiment on our children put up by the ACT Party and now fully embraced by the National Party. There is no evidence from overseas experiences that they will improve New Zealand schooling.
Look at more research about the effectiveness of charter schools here
Join the â€œWe Donâ€™t Need Your Charter Schoolsâ€ Facebook group here