What’s a charter school gotta do?

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, July 30th, 2015 - 7 comments
Categories: accountability, schools - Tags: , ,

What exactly does a charter school have to do in order to be held accountable? Yesterday:

No investigation over school’s cash withdrawals

Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school’s account and failed to explain what they spent it on will not be investigated, the ministry of education says.

A financial audit of Te Pumanawa o te Wairua, a struggling Northland charter school, found staff made the cash withdrawals from ATM machines and a BP station from January last year.

Analysis raised concerns as to whether some expenses could not considered normal operational expenses, “specifically the ATM, round dollar EFTPOS withdrawals from Takeaways, BP, and purchases from Cafes, Domino’s Pizza, KFC and Burger King”.

KFC and Burger King seem to be a recurring theme with charter schools. Back to the above:

“Based on our finding above we are unable to determine if all the operational funds received by the kura were used for the purposes for which they were granted,” the audit said.

“The school advises us it has since cancelled the debit card, reduced petty cash to $500 and implemented a regular petty cash reconciliation. The staff who were responsible for the debit card use are no longer at the school. We do not intend to take any action in this regard.”

If the school doesn’t have any way of accounting for the transactions, how do they know which staff were involved? Whatever, apparently the solution is to give the school a lot more money:

Questions in the house yesterday (Jan 29) from Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins revealed the school will get close to $1 million to spend for the rest of the year.

It was given an extra $129,000, to allow for implementation of its remedial plan and to fund external expertise, in the wake of Minister Parata’s decision last week. It will also get the help of former Education Secretary Karen Sewell at the taxpayer’s expense – although the ministry is yet to disclose how much she will be paid.

Hey I know – why not fund state schools at the same level as charter schools and see what they can do?

7 comments on “What’s a charter school gotta do?”

  1. Save NZ 1

    Can we really blame obese people for their weight, if they are taught at school KFC and burger King are the lunch places of choice?

    Charter schools financial mismanagement, Serco financial mismanagement, Sky City financial deals, Saudi bribes, 11m headquarters in the US…

    No wonder nobody gets a pay rise in this country, all our dollars are going offshore, on corporate welfare….

    With Double Dip Bill in charge of a record deficits in this country no wonder the answer is just push it under the carpet and write another cheque courtesy of the tax payer.

  2. Charles 2

    “What exactly does a charter school have to do in order to be held accountable?”

    Well my guess would be that since a selling point of a charter school out West is that, within the first six months, none of the forty or so students have comitted suicide owing to the study programs or environment, then one measure might be that a certain number of students would have to kill themselves within that period before the charter schools were considered suspect. Nice. Bright. Future.

    The people running our country all seem to have the same tendency to drive their stupid greed into the openly homicidal range, before acknowledging the existence of previously held knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. Scarey thing is that the people who support their tendency number roughly half of our neighbours and “friends”. Yikes.

  3. tc 3

    Not designed to be accountable, it’s exempt from the OIA and does its job of siphoning public money into private hands at a cost to the rest of the education system.

    You gotta hand it to the Nats as they get ACT to wear this while MP wear the health version, whanau ora.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    Government corruption!

    Parata isn’t even ashamed.

    Our job is to make her ashamed.

  5. Ron 5

    If the charter school was to tell some truths about the minister that might get some action against them

  6. repateet 6

    What exactly does a charter school have to do in order to be held accountable?

    Let’s put it this way. A drunk in a bar in Chicago says “Charter Schools are the best thing since the invention of the wheel” and it’ll be on kiwiblog and Whale Oil blog within a week. Farrar will head the story “Yet more evidence that Charter Schools are the best thing since the invention of the wheel” and Slater will lead with “Marxist scumbag teachers proved wrong again.”

    Farrar will be so distracted posting about relevant stuff like Venezuela and Baphomet that he won’t realise his pet topic has an angle to explore.

    He’ll also will be so busy talking about Colin Craig with his mate Jordan Williams that the Taxpayers Union won’t have time to look at the use of public money at Whangaruru.

    Slater will also be busy on craigwatch. His charter schools correspondent will be out in a charter school gathering evidence to say they have the tidiest school grounds in the country and the first of their students, rescued from the despair in their lives, have almost completed their PhDs this year (internally assessed.)

    Had the reports with the level of demonstrated incompetence at Whangaruru been about a state school, Farrar and Slater would have been all over it. The people involved would have been personally slated and hung out to dry.

    The self-professed defenders of pupils, so quick to the sword to use on state schools, are silent. The words from the silence attest to the scum they are.

  7. Old Mickey 7

    There is a comparison to be made in this instance with the goings on at relationships Aotearoa.
    In terms of your very good question “What exactly does a charter school have to do in order to be held accountable?” I would suggest, allowing the teaching staff to act and behave like other public school teachers, or allow teachers unions to run charter schools – then watch the Govt act !

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