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22 Mar 2018 23:01
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  •   Home > News > Politics

    Lobby for and against charter schools

    There's been a public rally in Auckland to support charter schools while a teachers' union argues they don't work.

    About 150 people turned up on a rainy day to a rally in support of charter schools, a model of schooling the Labour-led government is abandoning.

    Partnership schools are championed by ACT, and leader David Seymour led the rally in Auckland on Sunday.

    National Party leader Bill English will keep the debate going by visiting the Pacific Advance Secondary School in Auckland on Monday.

    Education Minister Chris Hipkins on Thursday brought in a bill that will repeal the legislation that allows for future charter schools.

    He says it also allowed the 10 existing schools to continue to operate under their contracts while options for their future are discussed on a case-by-case basis.

    Whetu Cormick, president of the New Zealand Principals' Federation, says charter schools have no place in the New Zealand education system.

    Charter schools are an idea imported from the US and are intended to privatise public education, he says.

    Mr Seymour says the government is listening too much to teachers' unions.

    "Partnership schools are working. Over 1500 students attend the fledgling schools, most of which have had to turn students away due to rapid growth. Struggling kids are having their lives turned around," he said.

    The schools receive government funding similar to state schools but have the autonomy to determine their own curriculum, qualifications, teacher pay rates, school hours and terms.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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