Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to court we go

Credit: Luke

The ACT Party leader is predicting Education Minister Chris Hipkins will land himself in court over the scrapping of charter schools.

David Seymour is strongly refuting the Education Minister’s concern about the schools.

Labour was elected on a platform of ending the charter school programme, and wants the 11 existing schools to close or be integrated into the state system.

The teacher unions, not the voters, are behind the drive to close successful schools that the students and their families want to be kept open. There was no election campaign saying, “Vote for Labour we will close those nasty successful Charter schools.” It was not a vote-winning platform. This is a union-driven initiative to please a microscopic percentage of New Zealand’s population.

Credit: Luke

Mr Seymour told RadioLIVE’s Trudi Nelson on Sunday Mr Hipkins is going about it all wrong.

[…] the way he’s gone about it – seeking to eradicate them, publicly write them off without even asking the question or seeking any advice about whether they work, or why the people that go to those schools want them […]

“I suspect he’s going to land himself in court before this is over. […]

“What we’re asking is they transition to a model that at least allows for their teachers to be registered, the curriculum is taught, and for them to be treated in a funding sense in the same way as state schools,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said earlier this month.

State schools have been bulk funded in the past. Why is Labour so opposed to schools that have found a way to make bulk funding work? Free education is something that the Labour party claim that they want and Charter schools provide a truly free education. They supply free uniforms, free stationery and even free breakfast.

“The Ministry of Education will be doing the negotiating. It will be carried out in good faith.”

Yet before the negotiations had even begun Chris Hipkins issued a press release saying that if the schools didn’t choose to close down he would force them to close. That was hardly the act of an Education Minister acting in good faith. Add to that, the allegation that Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis has shown favouritism to two out of the three Charter schools in his electorate, as well as Chris Hipkins’ intention to break government contracts with the schools, and you have an expensive legal battle and a possible media feeding frenzy on the cards.


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