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Massive surplus for cash cow charter

Published: Wed 1 Jul 2015 03:32 PM
Massive surplus for cash cow charter
A Whangarei charter school has banked an operating surplus of more than $2.4million, thanks to funding well above the amount regular schools receive.
Audited financial accounts released to the charities commission show the He Puna Marama trust, which opened a charter school last year received $3,897,323 in government funding to the end of 2014.
Just $1,464,093 of this has been spent on setting up and running the school, which last year was funded for 50 students and six teachers.
PPTA president Angela Roberts was disturbed to see such a surplus when there didn’t seem to be a spare penny to spend on other schools in the area as their buildings rotted around them.
“It must be wearying for the rest of the Whangarei community to see all this surplus when other local schools are falling down,” she said.
While the trust was given $1.8 million as an establishment payment towards the end of 2013 to begin operations, only $123,000 of this was spent. In 2014 the trust received $2 million for property, staffing and operations, and just $1,355,782 was spent.
The salaries for six teaching staff came to $622,740, contributing to a drain of teachers from surrounding schools.
“I am aware state schools are losing valuable staff – they can’t possibly compete with that type of money,” Roberts said.
This is the same charter school that came under fire earlier this year for the purchase of a $100,000 waka. At the time the school leadership hit back at critics saying that other schools simply ‘need better accountants’ if they cannot afford to buy such things.
ENDS

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