NZ Herald Education Reporter Swallows Another Union Line and Regurgitates

She hasn’t been in the job long but NZ Herald desk jockey Kirsty Johnson has shown a remarkable propensity to reproduce the union line.

A week or so back she produced an NZEI fed Early Childhood series that culminated in the sensational news that one child didn’t like his childcare centre.

The PPTA Executive are currently meeting and have clearly decided to continue their trivial and inept response to the growing success of Charter Schools in New Zealand. The complaint they have got Johnson to reprint today is that one Maori focused Charter School has spent money on waka.

Johnson clearly has no idea. State Schools are funded for establishment up to 5 times the level of Charter Schools per student. Charter Schools get approximately $1 million per 200 students. Recent government announcements for Rolleston ($53 million) and Rotouna in Hamilton ($40 millions) make a mockery of Johnson’s PPTA figures. Even the Fairfax reporters have found out that $1.9 millions has been spend on a Western Springs College rebuild for design and consultation alone.

She then reproduces a graphic that purports to show that Charter Schools are comparatively highly funded while restating the union line that State School receive an average of $7600 per student.

 She fails to find out, or deliberately leaves out that these are schools in a start up phase and are funded well under state start up levels. She fails to find out, or deliberately leaves out, that these costs are coming down quickly as the schools grow. She fails to find out, or deliberately leaves out, that these costs include all building costs and many others costs that the State Schools get centrally funded.

It is a ten minute job to go on the Fairfax “School Report” and find a sample group of State Schools funded at or above these levels, without even adding in anything for buildings and centralised services.

Kia Aroha College $12,000

Tikipunga High School $12,300

Portland School $10,200

Excellere College $10,400

Pukepoto School $10,400

Te Rangi Aniwaniwa $14,600

Manurewa East School $12,700

St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College $10,700

Wanganui City College $11,000

Tawhero School $18,000

Hato Petera College $17,300

Hato Paora College $16,100

Johnson then publishes a hilarious statement by PPTA President Angela Roberts:

“It breaks my heart, because I know for a fact there are outdoor education teachers in state schools around the country trying to motivate the same kids as He Puna Marama are and they don’t even have the money to buy a couple of plastic kayaks,” she said. “That’s what hurts.”

Somehow Roberts thinks other schools are teaching the “same kids” as this Charter School. Clearly she forgets all of the money State Schools spend on rowing through to the Maadi Cup and all manner of money spent on sport and recreation facilities. This is the same Angela Roberts who refuses to disclose how much teacher subscription money the PPTA has wasted opposing Charter Schools. And really – this “hurts” Roberts.

Johnson also publishes fed lines from Chris Hipkins – who refuses to get out of Wellington to visit a Charter School, and the NZEI – who are clearly exploiting their Herald link.

At least Johnson acknowledges the 85% NCEA pass rate for the priority learners at this Charter School.

In conclusion. The PPTA continue to waste their member’s money protecting their patch – why would any self respecting teacher belong to them – while the NZ Herald continues to demonstrate its quality and leaning.


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