Charter schools are back

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, May 16th, 2024 - 69 comments
Categories: act, david seymour, education, political parties - Tags:

Just over a week ago the Government announced cuts to the school lunch programme. No longer would there be any “woke” food like hummus or sushi or hot nutricious meals. The only appropriate use of the word “woke” in these circumstances is that it would waken teeage brains and get them ready to learn.

Net savings, $107 million a year.

Then there was the inevitable announcement, the return of Charter Schools, at a cost of $153 million over four years. We are starving our poorest teenagers of good food so that Act’s ideological burp can be accommodated.

The move is a thinly veilled attack on having National standards and also on hard won teacher union salaries and conditions. And it has more than a slight sense of survival of the fittest about it. David Seymour was quoted as saying the folloing in this Radio New Zealand article:

“They can, with some restrictions, set their own curriculum, hours and days of operation, and governance structure.

“They also have greater flexibility in how they spend their funding as long as they reach the agreed performance outcomes.”

He told media on Tuesday “the idea that there’s a no-holds-bar curriculum is not a fair assessment of what charter schools will be”.

“They will be required to teach a curriculum that is as good or better than the New Zealand curriculum.

“We are going to demand higher standards. Charter schools will be the only schools that contract that and say ‘if you don’t do it, your funding is at risk and you may ultimately be closed down’.”

The proposal is straight out of the Atlas Network playbook as exeplified by this editorial description of what educational choice involves. From Atlas Network’s Freedom Champions review:

It’s now been 60 years since Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom popularized the case for school vouchers. Friedman’s insight was that schools should compete for students, just as other businesses must earn their customers. This means parents must have school choice. The idea has met fierce and persistent resistance from teachers’ unions and the broader educational establishment, even as evidence has mounted that U.S. student performance has stagnated, and even suffered, over recent decades.

Strangely Charter schools will not have to abide by the cellphone ban or the requirement to teach an hour’s reading and writing and maths. Teachers will not have to be qualified and the Government’s current infatuation with requiring schools to teach structured literacy will not necessarily apply.

I have always struggled with the insistence on teaching structured literacy. The teachers in my whanau say that it is used anyway but that different techniques work for different kids and using a mixture of techniques can work best.

But the attacks and the insistence that teachers do what the politicians and not the experts tell them has a real feel of nanny state to it.

Chris Hipkins response to the announcement was not stellar. He initially said that he was not sure what Labour would do with them. He subsequently clarified that Labour would abolish the model and work out what to do with existing schools. An earlier full throated oppisition would have worked better.

The performance review last time the model was tried was not stellar. The Ministry of Education concluded that the monitoring was inadequate and apart from two schools there was no independent evidence they were doing a better job than comparable state schools. There was also concern that their results might have been inaccurate or even fabricated.

This has not stopped Seynour from claiming that charter schools are the best thing since sliced bread. From RNZ:

Charter schools provide educators with greater autonomy, create diversity in New Zealand’s education system, free educators from state and union interference, and raise overall educational achievement, especially for students who are underachieving or disengaged from the current system.

The ideological underpinning of the policy is clear. And it is straight out of the Atlas Network playbook.

69 comments on “Charter schools are back ”

  1. Tony Veitch 1

    free educators from state and union interference,

    And that, in a nutshell, is what it's all about! Break two of the biggest and strongest unions in the country.

    The kids are only collateral damage!

    • Anne 1.1

      The kids don't count. Especially the poor kids. Lets introduce a voucher system that will provide a minimum of education only and the parents can pay for the rest. The poor kids won't learn much but we only want them for menial jobs. If they grow up bad we'll throw em into one of the new prisons we're going to build.

      Cruel and callous pieces of s**t and the biggest s**t of them all is Seymour. Maybe one day he will be thrown into one of the new prisons.

      Never give up hope.

      • thinker 1.1.1

        I agree Anne,

        I think the endgame will be 'proper' education for those who can afford it and the basic life skills for the bottom 90%.

        Were heading to the kind of world like HG Wells's 'Time Machine's predicted, if this lot could stay elected long enough.

        The bonus is that as less and less people get educated, the less likely they might interfere in the running of the country, from voting to mobilising a collective view.

        • Belladonna 1.1.1.1

          Given that student educational achievement closely tracks the decile of the state school – then

          "proper' education for those who can afford it and the basic life skills for the bottom"

          Is what we're already experiencing in the current education environment.

          When 66% of kids leaving state schools are not qualified to go on to tertiary education (no UE qualification).

          • SPC 1.1.1.1.1

            Back in the day …

            50% passed SC (some did a repeat year), 50% passed UE (and some did a repeat year) – note the impact of the repeat year on first year student pass rates (perseverance, even in the days of full employment was important).

            And only half those who got UE in the 6th form went onto the last year – HSC or qualifying for assistance at university via bursary or scholarship.

            Half pass rates overall – lower in state schools.

            But 6th form UE was enough to go onto nursing in hospitals or teachers college or do electricians training at polytech etc.

            There is still educational opportunity via polytech today and over age 20 access to university.

            • Belladonna 1.1.1.1.1.1

              There are indeed other educational pathways – but a 33% UE pass rate at state schools is nothing to be proud of. And all of the quals you mention (teachers, nurses, etc.) will all currently require UE for entry.

              The whole point of NCEA was to remove the artificial 50% fail rule. Having it replaced with a 66% fail reality is not an achievement.

              • SPC

                Back then less than 25% even did the 7th form year/year 13.

                NCEA Level 2 equivalent was all that was required for nurse and teacher training.

                And there is some doubt whether nursing and training at the university improves outcomes (some teachers are unprepared for the classroom, though nurse aides help out nurses).

                The reality is that government has chosen to offload preparation for work cost onto the individual (and family – longer in secondary school) and away from the employer. Such is neo-liberalism – and thus worker migrants (trained offshore) and foreign students (to access the employment market).

    • Belladonna 1.2

      The kds have been the collateral damage in the two greatest educational experiments in NZ history: Open plan classrooms (modern learning environments) and Balanced literacy.

      Both of which were implemented and vigorously supported by the MoE and the teacher training establishments – not to mention the teacher unions – with little or no evidence that they work at all. And, with mounting quality international research (certainly with balanced literacy) over decades that it simply doesn't work for a large section of kids.

      Parent advocates – especially for those kids who do *not* learn to read using the favoured teaching model – have virtually given up on trying to persuade the MoE to read the research and make the changes. And have gone to politicians instead. Tinetti had a go – but was stymied by the MoE. Stamford has just told them, point blank, to make the change.

      • Traveller 1.2.1

        You forgot the numeracy project, which my neurodiverse child was subject to in the early to mid 2000's.

      • Stephen D 1.2.2

        And don’t forget the Numeracy Project. They totally forgot about the basics.

        No point in having 5 strategies to multiplication if you don’t know 7×6.

        • Cricklewood 1.2.2.1

          That honestly was a disaster and to my shame as a parent I didnt realize it was happening.

          Not know times tables off by heart is crippling as math becomes harder it slows down solving anything slighlty complicated more imposing, difficult and time consuming.

          • Belladonna 1.2.2.1.1

            It also throws off all your estimation skills. Being able to look at a result and just 'know' you've made an arithmetical error – because it doesn't match the tables pattern.

            The slowing down isn't as big an issue as they get to the higher levels of secondary school, and use calculators. But the estimation skills required to know that something is a rubbish result – are still needed.

          • Traveller 1.2.2.1.2

            Don't be too hard on yourself. As far as I can remember, we weren't consulted as parents. Which was particularly egregious as we had a neurodiverse child who was seriously disadvantaged.

            AUT did a helpful assessment of the NP (to access the PDF, you'll need to go to AUT – Top 1% of universities world-wide and search on 'numeracy project'. The report is titled The Impacts of the Numeracy Project on Teaching and Learning. Some key findings:

            • the extra emphasis placed on number at times crowded out the other mathematics strands of algebra, geometry, measurement and statistics.
            • NPD strategies were taught as rote procedures and that students were required to know all the strategies required to solve one problem before moving on two things that created confusion and misunderstanding amongst those that it sought to help.
            • This extra emphasis resulted in New Zealand placing 23rd in 2013 in an international student assessment when placed 13th only three years prior.

            Edit: the link above in the title seems to work.

    • Traveller 1.3

      In 2013, Colin Espiner wrote this (Espiner: What's wrong with Partnership Schools? | Stuff):

      The vitriol spouted by the Post-Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) and the Educational Institute (NZEI) at the Government's announcement last week that it would fund five privately-run Partnership Schools took me back in a flash to my early days as a reporter covering teacher union rallies and marches.

      Back then, it was bulk funding and the devolution of central control to community boards of trustees the teacher unions didn't like. Oh, and Lockwood Smith.

      They went on to oppose NCEA, National Testing, religious schools integration, private school funding . . . in fact pretty much anything that threatened the status quo and the teacher unions' privileged position within it.

      Espiner goes on to claim that the MoE say that "20 per cent of students are still failing in the state school system".

      Espiner was correct. 11 years later, a sequence of reports has shown our education system is in serious decline (eg Now_I_dont_know_my_ABC_final-1.pdf (theeducationhub.org.nz)).

      And once again, these unions stand in the way of progress.

      • joe90 1.3.1

        And the solution is to revisit the failed charter school scam complete with it's own separate assessment and monitoring so it can't be directly compared to the state school system that is supposedly failing 20 per cent of students.

        Genius!

        • Traveller 1.3.1.2

          You are satisfied that 20% of students are failing?

          You also haven't demonstrated that Charter schools failed. Your link is from 2016, and is well out of date when considered alongside the MoE commissioned report published in 2018 (which can be accessed here Multi-year Evaluation of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua Policy, Summary of Findings Across Years | Education Counts)), which found:

          Overall, we found that assessment practice across the schools/kura was ‘good’. All of the schools/kura had very good understandings of assessment practice at leadership level and appropriate systems and tools in place to support it, although the extent to which these were fully embedded varies, and

          We did not find any examples of schools/kura demonstrating assessment practice that was ‘poor’ or ‘inadequate’ overall.

          That same report also made the following points (PSKH's are Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua):

          PSKH's "operate in areas of significant educational challenge, and for those groups of students that the system has not served well. These were Māori and Pasifika students, students with special educational needs, and students from low socio-economic areas"

          "…it was still too early to determine ‘success’: schools/kura were still becoming established, numbers of students that had received a ‘full dose’ of the PSKH intervention were low, and efforts were ongoing by the Ministry to define and agree contracted outcomes"

          The Jenkins report showed what these schools could have achieved with a student cohort who the mainstream was failing. If only the government and the unions had not be so tribal.

          • joe90 1.3.1.2.1

            You are satisfied that 20% of students are failing?

            Citing you.

            • Traveller 1.3.1.2.1.1

              Yes but your premise was flawed, and your source was out of date.

              • joe90

                your premise was flawed,

                My premise is that that charter schools used their own separate assessment and monitoring to scam NCEA results. And that they'll do it again.

                your source was out of date.

                Best you link to a more recent source showing charter school NCEA exam results didn't drop massively when brought in line with state schools.

                • Traveller

                  "My premise is…"

                  The premise I read was that charter schools had failed. You haven't gone close to supporting that with evidence.

                  "…that that charter schools used their own separate assessment and monitoring to scam NCEA results. And that they'll do it again."

                  To justify that, you used data from 2014!

                  "Best you link to a more recent source showing charter school NCEA exam results didn't drop massively when brought in line with state schools."

                  I linked to a study dated 4 years after your newspaper link that found "Overall, we found that assessment practice across the schools/kura was ‘good’. " The material used in the newspaper piece you quoted referred to just 2 schools. In one of those schools, one of the two years the standards were met. In the other school, the standard was reduced from 82% to 78%.

                  Using data from 2014 (at the end of their first year of operation) that selectively looks at just two of the school is hardly informative.

                  • joe90

                    I linked to a study dated 4 years after your newspaper link that found "Overall, we found that assessment practice across the schools/kura was ‘good’. "

                    An evaluation that did not seek to compare the outcomes achieved by PSKH with outcomes achieved by other types of schools really doesn't show a flaw in my premise that charter schools used their own separate assessment and monitoring to scam NCEA results.

                    • Traveller

                      Of course it does. Your newspaper link referenced only 2 schools data and only one year after they were established. The MoE study, conducted after 3 years of establishment across all charter schools found differently.

          • Tony Veitch 1.3.1.2.2

            You omitted (purposely?) the adverb 'supposedly.'

    • newsense 2.1

      35 state schools to be given to private providers.

      Make him start in Epsom with Grammar, Darien!

      Charter schools begin at home, or so I was told.

      Erica Stanford looks like a leader, unfortunately. Got a very safe seat and doesn’t say much. The kind of Tory who gets called centrist because they’re good at misdirection and they’ve donated to their local soup kitchen every Christmas since they were 19. If you don’t watch what’s happening in their portfolio and who their friends are.

      They’ve come for journos. Next is teachers.

      Lastly, it’s rare for schools to fail where communities aren’t already doing it tough, though occasionally there are principals who give it a good go.

      Don’t let them use other people’s kids as guinea pigs. If it’s a good model it should begin with the biggest schools in their own electorates. Don’t let them fob off their ideological tinkering on lower decile schools.

  2. Ad 3

    Presumably Seymour wants to bring back Crown Health Enterprises.

    Just a license to privatize and sell off our public stuff.

  3. joe90 4

    It'll work, this time…

    /

    The reported results were inflated because the charter schools, also known as partnership schools, were using a different method from state schools to report NCEA pass rates.

    The report showed Vanguard Military School on Auckland's North Shore and Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa reported they had met their 2014 NCEA leaver targets – but when the figures were analysed, they did not.

    Vanguard reported a 100 per cent pass rate for NCEA Level 2. However, when revised in line with NCEA standards it dropped to just 60 per cent. It met Level 1 standards.

    At Te Kura Hourua, neither Level 1 or Level 2 NCEA standards were met once revised: Level 1 dropped from 82 per cent to 77.8 per cent, and Level 2 dropped from 80 per cent to 55.6 per cent.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/charter-school-pass-rates-plummet-when-brought-in-line-with-state-schools/DQUCQ5EVCYPX7SXISURRDW7DJM/

  4. SPC 5

    There is the question of mainstreaming and school choice.

    Some Maori may want a post Kohanga Reo option. They may value a bi-lingual education environment. If based on parent choice, it creates a family and community base.

    This is one aspect to charter schools that Labour, Greens and TPM should consider well.

    Another is special needs education – was it really wise to put everyone in the open plan classrooms?

    And as for the charter schools lacking requirement for trained professionals – perhaps a condition of a minimum ratio of such – and some role for a "mentoring" facilitator (related to training courses – on line or otherwise). This expands the teacher resource.

    The departure from the old teacher college system has resulted in some trained teachers struggling in the classroom – those who can deliver in the classroom (life experience etc) – are the sort of people who should be trained up, like they were.

    And of course require competent oversight, rather than the self-reporting achievement – it's a school, not a political party.

    And if the main advantage of the charter school is better funding per pupil and smaller class sizes, if it is for those with special needs and Maori, is this not how we reduce inequality?

    And if a bi-partisan arrangement involved smaller class sizes (and or more teacher support) in state schools in under privileged areas … .

  5. Mike the Lefty 6

    Perhaps in their charters the children will be required to stand and chant "all hail David Seymour…. all hail our saviour……"

    You might laugh but with Seymour's intoxication of ideology and delusions of grandeur you never know.

    Meanwhile National tries to look like a semi-interested bystander, because their coalition agreement gives ACT the power and National the weakest link.

    • Belladonna 6.1

      Well, of course you never know… But outré suggestions don't materially add to the quality of the debate.

      National is standing back and letting Seymour go for it. They have the best of both worlds. If the charter schools succeed, then they get the kudos from their support base (who are seriously angry with the current MoE state school system); if they fail, it's an ACT policy, and all ACT's fault.

      Note that no one has to enroll their kids in a charter school. It's entirely a parent-led option.

  6. roblogic 7

    NACTional hates poor people and wants to minimise the cost of ownership. They are only useful for paying rent and working themselves to death for massa

    • Ed1 7.1

      Minimising the cost of ownership was a feature of Charter Schools previously. It sounds as if the $154 million is all going into getting charter School buildings ready for use; standard operational grants will take it from there. I understand that as most of the previous charter schools either failed or were forced to close, the land and buildings were retained by the Charter School owners, who had the hardship of having to then convert then to alternative use – at a fraction of the cost of initial capital works. Now Seymour claims there will be better controls, but I don't recall hearing what those were.

      • roblogic 7.1.1

        Smoke and mirrors so that his mates can run a profitable $150 million dollar scam

        • Traveller 7.1.1.1

          For whose benefit? Almost all charter schools in NZ were run by charitable trusts, not for profits and Maori authorities.

          • roblogic 7.1.1.1.1

            Trust David Seymour? I don't think so. If this scheme had the slightest bit of integrity it wouldn’t come at the price of the education and wellbeing of thousands of kids in state schools.

          • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1.1.2

            Many, many businesses and individuals operate trusts from which they gain financially and often pay no tax. Loans from trusts is one way to do this which never get paid back – they just accumulate as the value of the trust increases.

            Or you can just do this.

            In a report published today, Ryan [Auditor-General John Ryan] said the establishment board of South Auckland Middle School and Middle School West Auckland effectively paid itself when it paid the Villa Education Trust for management and administration work in 2018.

            The establishment board was in charge of the schools' transition from charter schools to designated character state schools and had the same members as the board the Villa Education Trust, which owned the schools and would become their proprietor once they joined the state system.

            The report said the schools' auditors flagged the payment because they were unable obtain sufficient evidence to determine how much of it was valid.

            "The auditor also noted the shared membership of the Establishment Board and Villa Education Trust and that the amounts charged were significantly higher than normally seen in other schools under similar circumstances," the report said.

            The Auditor-General said his office's investigation found the board had valid reasons for engaging the trust but there was no formal agreement or scope of work before the money was invoiced and approved and no evidence that the board had determined what it was paying for or if the fee was appropriate.

            "The circumstances of this payment create a perception of a lack of integrity. Acting with integrity, and being seen to act with integrity, are fundamental to maintaining the public's trust and confidence in public organisations and in the public sector as a whole," the report said.

            "The Establishment Board cannot assure the public that the decision to engage Villa Education Trust and the amount of the management fees were not influenced by the personal interests of trustees of the Establishment Board."

            It said the ministry paid the first tranche of money to the board in September. The next day the trust sent the board a $250,000 invoice for Middle School West Auckland and a $200,000 invoice for South Auckland Middle School for "management fee" and "set up", which the board paid the same day.

            "In our view, $200,000 and $250,000 represent significant spending for a public organisation such as this and it is unacceptable that there is no record showing unequivocally: who approved the spending as being valid; who authorised the invoices for payment; and whether they had the appropriate authority to do so," the report said.

            https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/456582/charter-schools-use-govt-funding-to-pay-450k-to-owners-before-joining-state-school-system

            Wonder if it was the same kids that went on to riot at youth justice facilities.

            “The Herald revealed this morning that education minister Hekia Parata had asked the ministry to investigate after parent and teacher complaints about behaviour policies, bullying, lack of cultural awareness, safety and drugs at Middle School West Auckland.

            Several of the letters said the school had served takeaways on a regular basis, and that on one occasion KFC was offered as a reward for good behaviour.”

            https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auckland-school-rejects-kfc-bribe-claims/MENOKDO4PMVNKIVNMEP5Z77LOY/?c_id=1&objectid=11484677

            [I put the whole quoted section (italicised and non-italicised) in blockquotes, added some clarifying text in square brackets, and fixed the RNZ link – Incognito]

            • Traveller 7.1.1.1.2.1

              The operators of schools pay themselves in the same way that headmasters are paid. Why wouldn't they? Can you point me to any individual who has gotten rich from this?

              You also seem very confused about the nature of trusts. It would help you to look at the ownership structure of the previous partnership schools.

              Edit: another link from 2015.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                They clearly don't pay themselves in the same way:

                Headmaster salary is $135,000 to $155,000.

                Most of us don't live in the world of CEO salaries, $2,000 a day consultancy fees (or higher if you are connected to the National Party like Stephen Joyce).

                $450,000 is close to 5 years salary and the $450,000 was only for a short period of time.

                I guess we just are not aspirational enough.

                • Traveller

                  How do you know how many people, how many hours or what period of time were covered by the $450,000?

                  I've gone to the effort of looking at the Villa Education Trusts accounts for the years 2014 through 2018 (which includes the period the payment was made from your link). The information on the Charities website gives the salaries and wages paid, the numbers of full and part time employees, and the average paid hours per week.

                  Over the 5 years, the average hourly pay was $33.50. The average salary per FTE was $69,517.

                  No-one's getting rich from this.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    It won't show as salaries or wages will it because it was a charge for work done.

                    It was according to the article for the transitional work to move to the school system and for at the most 9 months work done in 2018.

                    • Traveller

                      The money comes into the TRUST as income. You’re saying individuals are getting the money. That can only be as salaries and wages.

                      Look at the accounts.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      I'd trust the auditor-generals concerns before your reckons.

                    • Traveller []

                      Where did the auditor general claim anyone was benefitting personally from this? His concerns were process related, as your quote below shows. It is the Trust that earned the money. What actual individuals were paid was perfectly reasonable. You don’t seem to understand the distinction.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      From the AG's report.

                      Shortly before our interviews with Establishment Board members, we were provided another document (which was also undated). This was broadly similar to the first one, but it included some additional detail about the nature of the tasks that had been performed. Some of the information in the more detailed document conflicted with the original document we had been provided. In the second document: • the total number of hours was 4130 hours10 (compared to 4090 hours in the original); and • the hourly rate was $108 per hour (compared to $110 per hour in the original).

                      chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://oag.parliament.nz/2021/schools-inquiry/docs/schools-inquiry.pdf

            • Traveller 7.1.1.1.2.2

              "Many, many businesses and individuals operate trusts from which they gain financially and often pay no tax. Loans from trusts is one way to do this which never get paid back – they just accumulate as the value of the trust increases."

              I'm going to address this seperately.

              If someone loans money to a trust, they have already paid tax on that money.

              If the trust makes money, that profit is taxable to the trust.

              If the trust distributes profits to beneficiaries pre tax, those distributions are taxable.

              It still mazes me the misinformation that is spread about trusts.

              Edit: loans from trusts are deemed distributions over time. Again I’d be interested in an example of that avoiding tax.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Edit: loans from trusts are deemed distributions over time. Again I’d be interested in an example of that avoiding tax.

                They can be. I've seen plenty that never have been.

                A farmer friend of the family has almost income but lots of loans against the capital value of the farms in the trust. The premise is that they will be repaid when the farm is sold. Meanwhile he and his wife have a community services card and his kids get student loans.

                He happily lives off the loans plus some very occasional drawings for himself and his wife which he does pay tax on – offsetting of course the tax the farm would pay on the profit.

                Only becomes an issue if someone complains really. and that isn't likely to happen.

                • Traveller
                  1. Is the farm profitable? If not, the example is moot.

                  2. If the farm is profitable, the trust will be paying tax at 33%.

                  3. If the farm was transferred by the owner into the trust ('settled') then there likely will be loans from him to the trust. The money coming back to him now in this scenario are actually loan repayments.

                  4. If the farm was purchased by the trust from the get-go, it must have received money from him to fund that purchase. In which case payments to him are also loan repayments.

                  5. Any money he has put into the trust to purchase the farm will have been subject to tax already.

                  6. This is an example from a personal trust, not a charitable trust. That is an important distinction, because the previous charter schools were almost all run by charitable trusts, maori authorities and not for profits.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    Stop being a dick. He is living off the ever increasing capital value of the farms by way of "loans" and it has nothing to do with the original farm value/money put in (which his father did anyway not himself). He gloats about his community services card, that his kids got student allowances when they went to university and makes no bones at all about not paying tax on his income in this way.

                    The system is structured deliberately so he can do this. Had an uncle, now deceased who did the same thing. When he died the sale of his business simply paid the loans back. QED.

                    Both of them did the free money thing that only the well off can do as well by putting expensive purchases eg new cars, house renovations, etc on credit cards and getting hotpoints etc which they then could spend tax free. It adds up after a while. Another structural benefit to the well-off built into the system.

                    I always find it interesting that they can do all this complication to avoid paying tax but always call for a simpler tax method like GST cause you know it is too hard to pay tax any other way.

                    • Traveller

                      You really have no idea what you’re talking about. The farm is owned by a trust which will be paying tax on any profits. Capital gains are not taxable, nor are they guaranteed. It sounds to me like you’re just making this up.

                    • Traveller

                      And there's another problem, as I've already pointed out. The VET is a charitable trust. Here's the CC link Charities Services | Home. The beneficiaries are not the individuals who run the schools. The beneficiaries are 'Children/young people'. For you to show there is any personal gain from this, you need to show how that gain has been leveraged out of this charitable trust.

      • Traveller 7.1.2

        "I understand that as most of the previous charter schools either failed or were forced to close,"

        By 2018, 12 previous charter schools had transitioned to became state integrated or special character schools. Which ones failed? Or were forced to close before they transitioned?

  7. adam 8

    A government

    subsidized

    scam.

    Why are our Tories so bloody stupid?

  8. tWig 9

    Our Tories are not stupid, it's pay-off for the funders who got them elected.

  9. KJT 10

    This is just a beach head. The ultimate goal is tax subsidised private for-profit schools. The same rhetoric and funders have supported the private takeover, that destroyed the US public education system.

  10. thinker 11

    Poor old Seymour.

    Forced to endure a lower-quality education at Auckland Grammar, then a BA/BE from Auckland Uni. All state educated.

    Imagine what he could have achieved, has he gone to, say, Vanguard Military School, or, if he was younger, The Destiny Church School, then on to one of the coalitions Boot Camps.

    Such a wasted opportunity.

  11. roblogic 12

    The NAF coalition are vandals, wrecking public services out of spite. While the public schools are neglected and kids with extra needs are ignored, Daivid Seymour is spending $153 million on his failed & expensive project

    Charter school funding ‘a slap in the face’ for disabled children, mum says | The Press

  12. georgecom 13

    Basic thing about charter schools, little or no evidence they make a dramatic difference. for every report showing success there is another showing failure. problems with the current education system will not be solved by charter schools. anyone who says it will is basically saying they are prepared to take a punt on something and hope it might work. so David Spendmore is sparying around $160m of tax payers money which could be better spent elsewhere. essentially he is wasting $160 million of tax payers money for no probable difference in education outcomes. that's charter schools in a nutshell

  13. newsense 14

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL2405/S00047/on-acts-charter-schools-experiment.htm

    Gordon Campbell calling it what it is- an attack on the profession of teaching. An ideological Made in the US attack on the teaching profession.

    No case has been made for charter schools at all. They’re a blunt instrument to attack teachers and bring them to heel the way other sectors or professions can be.

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