$47,000 per student why aren’t the Teacher Unions outraged?

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The PPTA in particular loves to compare apples with pears in an attempt to show that Charter Schools are funded more per student than State schools. This is not actually the case as we have shown in past articles.
The cold hard facts have not stopped both Labour and Teacher Unions  from complaining that Charter Schools are expensive at less than $4000 set up per student.In contrast State Schools are massively expensive. There has just been a refurbishment and redevelopment (i.e. not even a land purchase or initial building) for Western Springs College of $80 million. That works out at $47,000 per student.
Are you as a taxpayer happy with this comparison? Why is the PPTA silent about this? Could it be that they are like Kelvin Davis who only attacks privately run prisons and ignores the problems in State run prisons?

$47,000 per student is a huge amount of money and it doesn’t even include land or the original building. That is $47,000 per student merely to upgrade the facilities. Is that money well spent? Does it improve educational outcomes? The PPTA have revealed their true agenda by their silence on spending like this in State schools. Their attack on Charter Schools has nothing to do with the cost per student, they do not support what they see as privately run schools. It is the same Kelvin Davis line that the State can do it better.

Exterior of Western Springs College, Auckland. Photo / Supplied

The Government will spend nearly $80 million in redevelopments at Auckland’s Western Springs College in what will be the largest-ever school investment in New Zealand.

Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye this morning announced an investment of around $75 million redeveloping Auckland’s Western Springs College, and around $4 million upgrading TAPAC, the Auckland Performing Arts Centre situated on the school grounds.

The rebuild of the current school would see at least 80 per cent of the existing teaching spaces replaced entirely, with other teaching spaces to be upgraded, she said.

“In addition, a new gymnasium will be built, and the existing hall and administration block will be upgraded.”

Ms Kaye said the school – one of the country’s best-performing – had

faced considerable challenges due to the geotechnical challenges of the site it was built on, which was a former quarry and landfill.

“That combined with ageing buildings and weather-tightness issues has made this one of the most complex school redevelopments undertaken in New Zealand,” she said.

“This is reflected in the investment announced today, which is the equivalent of the cost of building two new secondary schools.”

-A Newspaper

The equivalent cost of building two new secondary schools. Let that sink in for a moment. I will now compare an ageing school with major problems due to the geotechnical challenges of the site with my old BMW. The BMW was purchased second hand for $6000 and served me well for many years. It then started having problem after problem. I spent $500 then $1300 and then even more needed to be done. The car by now was worth less than $3000 so I had to make a decision. I could keep spending money on it or I could buy a new car. I decided to get a new car because it was clear that my BMW was going to cost me more money than it was worth. Why don’t politicians treat tax payers’ money with more respect? Was that school and that location really worth two new secondary schools?


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