State Schools good, Charter schools Baaaaad

Radio New Zealand has reproduced a PPTA piece that tries to make a case that a Hawkes Bay Charter School is highly funded. They did this by lumping in establishment costs along with an over-statement of 2017 operating funding and then compared it to the long-run per student average for State Schools.

A fair comparison would be for a new Charter high school to be compared to a recent State school establishment like Ormiston Senior College which started in 2011. It was meant to grow to a roll of 1600 students but by 2015 it only had 445. It had all year levels available by 2013. It cost approximately $22 million for land (one-third of the cost for three schools on site – Primary, Junior College, Senior) and $31.3 million for buildings. Add another $1.5m for establishment funding and in 2015 it is also listed as receiving $7688 per student (plus centralised services).

Using the PPTA formula that works out at $130,834 per student. Quite a bit more than even the PPTA’s nonsensical comparison for the Charter School but then funding has never been the real reason why the PPTA has been opposed to partnership schools. Their opposition has always been ideological.

Even if you do it on a much fairer 5% per annum cost of capital ($54.8m) to taxpayers of Ormiston Senior College and add per annum costs it still works out at $13,845 per student which is a lot more than the PPTA want to acknowledge. The cost comparisons simply are not even close especially when the Charter Schools get nothing for growth, unlike State Schools.

The actual facts though aren’t that important to the new PPTA president Jack Boyle.

PPTA president Jack Boyle said regardless of the exact amount of per-student funding, charter school start-up funding would be better spent on existing state schools in the area.

What is so wrong with families who consider that the State schools in the area have failed them, having a choice?


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