An offer charter schools couldn’t refuse


The Education Minister has made charter schools an offer they couldn’t refuse: ‘conform or be closed’. 


“Chris Hipkins today confirmed that charter schools would either lose the precious liberties that have helped them serve some of our most disadvantaged students, or have their contracts terminated”, says ACT Leader David Seymour. 


“As Raewyn Tipene, chief executive of He Puna Marama Trust, put it, charter schools have applied to become special character schools ‘under duress’.


“Hipkins also said that Vanguard Military School, in becoming a designated character school, ‘will retain key features’ of their current model.


“Given the vitriol with which the Education Minister has attacked the charter school model, that seems unlikely. Perhaps Hipkins could explain publicly which of the key features of the charter school model he will allow Vanguard to retain.


“The Minister might also explain how much of the $12 million in contingency funding set aside for schools which do not become special character schools has or will be paid out. 


“Either millions will be paid out to charter schools, or they will lose the features which make them successful. 


“Either way, Hipkins has shown himself to be completely incompetent in managing his portfolio”, says Mr Seymour.