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ACT endorses Maori Party's call for school choice

ACT endorses Maori Party's call for school choice

ACT Leader Rodney Hide has endorsed key elements of the Maori Party's education policy released today.

"It's clear that our one-size-fits-all education system is failing Maori and other New Zealanders. That's why ACT advocates school choice. Parents who send their children to non-state schools should not have to pay twice for their schooling. The funding should follow the student and not be locked up in the state system.

"The Government's concern should be with the quality of education, not who owns or who runs the school. It's the students' schooling that government should fund, not government schools to the exclusion of private schools, church-based schools and marae-based schools.

"ACT agrees with Tariana Turia and the Maori Party that `the potential of marae to be centres of learning be recognised; `that high quality educational programmes in all fields and at all levels are available within arrangements that give expression to the preferences of the participant community and that reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of our Nation;' and `that our educational programmes be funded in ways that are consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi.'

"ACT looks forward to working with all parties in Parliament including the Maori Party which is anxious to lift our educational achievement. We need to empower parents and communities so they have a real say over their children's education. That means school choice," Mr Hide said.

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