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ACT Party supports big spending policy – price no object!

Press release

ACT Party supports big spending policy – price no object!

The ACT party has foisted a secretive, undemocratic, expensive and ideological experiment on New Zealand taxpayers with its so-called Partnership Schools.

ACT, the party of so-called fiscal responsibility, is quite happy to squander more then seventeen million taxpayer dollars on five small schools.

QPEC is concerned the policy has set up the conditions for the same kind of scams, fraud, mismanagement and poor academic performance that is plaguing charter schools in the United States.

Now the Epsom candidate is crowing that the “children are thrilled” to be going to these five schools. QPEC would like to know how the ACT candidate knows this.

No information on these schools is available through the Official Information Act, because the National Government legislated that the schools could work in complete secrecy.

There is no National Standards data so no public record of how they are doing.

We do know that the schools are costing taxpayers more than double the price of a state school education, and that three of the five schools had enrolment numbers below the guaranteed minimum at 31 March.

Local communities concerned were never consulted on whether they even want a so-called partnership school, nor on whether it is needed, nor on how they are expected to continue to offer a quality public education when such a well-funded school is set up alongside them.

QPEC is concerned that the ACT Party, having set these schools up to avoid public disclosure, is now claiming that they are successful, when they cannot know that. All we do know is that they are extremely expensive.

In the light of the Dirty Politics scandal, any political group that trumpets the success of a secretive, taxpayer funded scheme, needs to come under scrutiny.

Candidate David Seymour, who is likely to become an MP due to a deal between National and ACT, has been quite specific in supporting the South Auckland Middle School, a fundamentalist Christian partnership school.

We think it is highly inappropriate for David Seymour to be “going to Wellington”, as he said, to advocate for individual schools, or for a system that deliberately hides funding from taxpayers. Where is the openness and transparency the ACT used to support?

ENDS

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