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Public response to charter school threat overwhelming


24 January 2013

Public response to charter school threat overwhelming

New Zealand’s education unions have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of submissions against the National/Act charter school experiment.

More than 1700 online submissions have been received by PPTA and NZEI, around 800 of which included substantial written additions. This was on top of the hundreds of individual submissions the organisations were aware of.

Both unions will meet at 1.30pm today to combine submissions to present to the education and science select committee.

PPTA president Robin Duff said the association was pleased to be able to alert the public to a submission date deliberately scheduled to pass them by.

He was delighted with the response to the PPTA charter school advertising campaign – which generated more than 1000 submissions in 10 days.

“It shows the New Zealand public is deeply concerned about the shoddy way this seems to be driven through ideologically without proper consultation,” he said.

NZEI Te Riu Roa vice president Frances Guy said the response to their campaign had been universally positive. “Parents, schools and communities are all saying they don’t want charter schools. Outside of the ACT party, there is almost no support for this legislation.

“This is a clear case of both unions and the public speaking with the same voice,” she said. “We expect government to listen to our message.”

Duff called for the education and science select committee to travel to Auckland and Christchurch to hear the hundreds of people who indicated they wanted to speak to their submissions.

“We’ll be watching carefully how the five National MPs on the committee respond to these submissions as they are responsible to the voters and young people of New Zealand,” he said.


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