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No accountability for charter school millions

Chris

HIPKINS

Education Spokesperson


12 February 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT
No accountability for charter school millions

Education Minister Hekia Parata needs to assure New Zealanders that charter schools can’t double-dip by claiming funding for their students and pass on the cost of their learning to state schools, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Hekia Parata confirmed today that charter schools will be able to ask existing state schools to teach kids on their behalf. However she couldn't say whether those charter schools will be required to reimburse the state schools for the cost of those lessons.

“Why should charter schools be allowed to claim funding for education the taxpayer has already paid for?

“The Government is throwing millions of dollars of taxpayer money at charter schools but the Minister doesn't seem to know or care how that money is being spent. That's just not good enough.

“It gets worse. If a charter school closes before the end of its contract, there is no provision for the taxpayer to recover the money it has already received in establishment costs.

“It’s just sloppy for the Minister to dish out millions for something she isn’t guaranteed she will actually receive.

“These schools are being funded at a much higher rate than existing state schools. One charter school is receiving funding per student five times that received for the average state school student.

“Hekia Parata should be able to answer the most basic questions about what that money is being spent on,” Chris Hipkins says.

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