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Charter school bill would stop profits being ‘skimmed off’ students’ learning

16 May 2017

A member’s bill, drafted by the Labour MP David Clark, seeks to remove the ability of for-profit organisations to operate state-funded charter schools.

Mr Clark’s Education (Public Good not Profit from Charter Schools) Amendment Bill has been introduced to Parliament.

The draft consultation says the bill will put the interests of children and a quality public education ahead of private profits for partnership schools kura hourua (“charter schools”) sponsors.

“We believe that charter schools should not be allowed to operate as private, profit-making enterprises. Schools should be run for the benefit of children, not a private company and every dollar skimmed off in profits is a dollar less for students learning. At present charter school sponsors are allowed to run charter schools at a profit, creaming off taxpayer funding for their own benefit,” the draft document notes.

“When private companies profit from our state-funded schools, children lose out. They have less money for books, for quality teachers, for school visits and computers.

“This bill will help ensure that New Zealand children get the best quality teaching and learning resources possible by removing the ability of for-profit organisations to operate state-funded charter schools.”

Under the bill, a charter school sponsor previously approved could continue to operate a school for up to one year after the changes are introduced before they must either close the school or transfer sponsor status to a not for profit entity such as a trust.

“The charter school scheme overlooks the widely accepted understanding that educational underachievement is inextricably linked to poverty and increasing income inequality,” the document says.

Meanwhile, Parmjeet Parmar’s Newborn Enrolment with General Practice Bill has been introduced to Parliament.

The bill seeks to improve health and social results for infants and children by requiring that newborns are enrolled with a general practice and primary health organisation before the newborn is due for his or her first immunisation at six weeks of age.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019