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Labour's charter schools bill defeated

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/11/2016
Labour Education Spokesman Chris Hipkins. © Getty Images Labour Education Spokesman Chris Hipkins.

Labour's bid to abolish charter schools by putting up a member's bill in parliament has failed.

The party's education spokesman, Chris Hipkins, sponsored the bill which was defeated 63-57 on its first reading on Wednesday night.

The Maori Party helped ensure its failure, voting with the government and challenging every Maori MP in parliament to do the same.

Co-leader Marama Fox said charter schools were delivering real gains, particularly for Maori students, and that should be recognised.

She didn't get the support she asked for from Labour's Maori MPs, who supported the bill.

Labour and the teacher unions fiercely oppose charter schools.

They're taxpayer-funded but can be run by community, business or church organisations 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 state system.

Opponents say they're a dangerous experiment that's taking money away from state schools.

National, the Maori Party, ACT and United Future opposed the bill.

Labour, the Greens and NZ First supported it.

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