INDEPENDENT NEWS

Charter school roll plunge

Published: Sun 30 Nov 2014 11:06 AM
Charter school roll plunge
One of the five Charter schools lauded by the Government as a success has lost a quarter of its school roll this year, with each student now costing four times as much to teach than children in a regular public school, the Green Party said today.
Latest Ministry of Education roll count data shows that Vanguard Military College had 79 students attending in October this year – 25 percent below the 108 students it is funded to teach and the 104 students it started the year with. Unlike state sector schools Charters don’t lose funding when they lose students.
That means the school is paid the equivalent of $27,000 in annual operation funding for each student, compared with the $7,000 a year schools in the state sector are funded for each student.
“Charter schools are a hugely expensive experiment that the Government is determined to continue with despite a lack of evidence they’re either successful or needed,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.
“Plans to open four more of these schools next year must be put off till Government can prove they’re value for money, good for students and aren’t damaging neighbouring schools.
“Vanguard has been trumpeted by National as a success yet official data shows it is struggling to hold on to its students.
“Principals in state schools are concerned about the disproportionate amounts of funding Charter schools are getting, saying that they’d be able to achieve amazing things for their own students if they had access to a similar amount of resources.
“Charters are able to pay for transport, uniforms, stationary and even food for their pupils. Even if they were succeeding, it’d be no surprise given the level of resources.
“The problem with Charter schools is that they suck resources and students away from public schools.
“Government pumps huge resources into them initially, but the real problems come a couple of years later when nearby schools have been undermined and the extra resources given to the Charters in the early days dry up,” Ms Delahunty said,
Link to school roll data
http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/directories/list-of-nz-schools
ENDS

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