Pūnga mātauranga

NZEI Te Riu Roa stands for public education

10 Jun 2024

NZEI Te Riu Roa is committed to the continual improvement of our public education system in Aotearoa, which is why we are opposed to charter schools.

In May 2024 the National-led Government announced the reintroduction of charter schools, with the intention for schools to open from early 2025.

$153 million is being invested over four years, covering up to 15 new charter schools and 35 State school conversions. This is roughly the equivalent cost of employing:

  • 700 teacher aides full-time at step 4
  • or 360 psychologists working in schools, full-time, step F8 – more than doubling the current Ministry of Education workforce (current FTE = 220)
  • or 350 Speech Language Therapists, full-time, average salary – doubling the current workforce (current FTE = 334)
  • or a combination of these.

Our teachers, principals and whānau are calling out for such support – but the Government has instead chosen to divert this funding into publicly funded private schools or charter schools, which could be run for profit by private companies and run without community connection.

There is little evidence here or overseas that charter schools make the differences to student achievement that the National-led Government claim they do.

The choice comes down to – do we want a successful public education system, or do we want to open the door to a reduction in educational standards to enable private profit?