You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Abolition of charter schools to be debated

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/04/2016 By Peter Wilson, Political Writer

Parliament is going to debate a bill to abolish charter schools.

It won't get past its first reading because the government has the numbers to defeat it, but there's sure to be lively exchanges in the debating chamber.

The Education (Abolition of Charter Schools) Amendment Bill, drafted by Labour's Chris Hipkins, was drawn from the members' bill ballot on Thursday.

"It's a great opportunity to debate the charter schools experiment," he told reporters.

"Despite receiving up to five times the public funding public schools get, charter schools have failed to produce any great innovations that state schools couldn't produce with the same funding."

Charter schools are an ACT initiative, created under the party's support agreement with the government.

ACT leader David Seymour says he welcomes a debate on charter schools and he's challenging Labour to say it will close them down if it leads the next government.

"What makes Chris Hipkins qualified to overrule the judgment of the hundreds of families who have already made the choice to embrace partnership schools?" he said.

Charter schools can be run by business, church or community organisations.

They can set their own curriculum and term times and don't have to hire registered teachers.

The rationale for them is that they can tailor their teaching for students who are failing in the public school system.

Nine have been set up and there are more in the pipeline.

One has failed - the government ordered the closure of Northland's Whangaruru School in January because of teaching and management problems.

Charter schools are fiercely opposed by teacher unions and the Labour Party.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon