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The Government Missed Their Chance To Address Issues In Education

The Government has been quick to highlight New Zealand’s ‘failing’ education system, yet when given a chance to address through their first budget they have left the sector feeling like things are going backwards.

The centrepiece of the budget’s education announcement was $153 million towards the ideologically driven Charter Schools. Seeing such a large investment not going towards fixing the real issues that we have like learning support, a teacher shortage, and leadership support for Principals is tragic.

AEC Spokesperson Sarah Aiono says, “Instead of allocating $153 million to charter schools, these funds could be more effectively invested in providing comprehensive support for our most at-risk students.”

Moreover, the recent budget announcement neglects the growing population of neurodivergent students and those who have experienced trauma. By failing to address the needs of these vulnerable groups, the government demonstrates a significant disconnect from the daily realities faced by New Zealand teachers. Support needs to go well beyond the current approach of PLD on literacy and numeracy.

Principals in the sector have been quick to run the numbers of what $153 million invested into public schools would mean for children’s learning. The Government has decided to fund a Charter School experiment instead of 3,974 learning assistants working 30 hours a week, support for 12,812 high needs ORS children , or 1,530 Learning Support Coordinators to deal with the inequity of access that currently exists.

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AEC Spokesperson Lynda Stuart says, “Investing in education is about choices, we would much rather the Government focuses on investing with a focus on equity for learners rather than a Charter School model. There is not a single country that has improved outcomes for learners by adopting the Charter School model.”

About Aotearoa Educators Collective

Aotearoa Educators Collective is an umbrella collective created to support education thought leaders who share a common interest in promoting progressive ideals in schooling. The group includes academics, principals and teachers and is not aligned to any political party.

These leaders choose to contribute to mainstream public debate through mainstream media based on their research, their lived professional experience and their standing within the sector.

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