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The Government should be focused on getting the basics in education right, rather than inflicting an ideologically driven charter schools experiment on Kiwi kids, Labour's acting Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“It is particularly ironic that the National-Act Government should send out a reminder to interested parties to work on their submissions on its charter school proposal during their summer holidays, while Hekia Parata and Craig Foss refuse to cut short their extended breaks to fix the Novopay fiasco.
"We don't need charter schools, plain and simple.
“The Government should be focused on making the schools we already have the very best they can be. Instead, it is diverting attention towards slick marketing campaigns as part of some ideological experiment in educational 'competition'.
"Even Treasury doesn’t buy in to charter schools. It argues that increased competition between schools hasn't improved outcomes anywhere it's been tried, and in many cases leads to worse results.
"National was working on its charter school plan well before the last election, yet mysteriously it didn't appear anywhere in its manifesto. The dodgy relationship it has with ‘coalition partner’ John Banks is being used as a convenient excuse to implement something that had been planned all along.
"The reality is we already have enough schools, and in some areas, we may even have too many. Siphoning kids off into charter schools will only lead to more public school closures, more money going into building new school buildings rather than educating kids, and more money being wasted on PR hype.
“The National Government should be cleaning up the messes it has already made - Novopay, the Christchurch schools shambles, and the budget hole created with the class size fiasco - before it starts making new ones elsewhere.