May 16, 2013
Charter school budget set
Greens Co-leader Metiria Turei says Māori needs are being used as an excuse to privatise education.
The budget sets aside $19 million for the five pilot charter schools, which education unions says has been stolen from public school students.
The Māori Party is supporting the initiative because it says the Māori versions of charter schools, kura hourua, have the potential to address Māori educational underachievement.
Ms Turei says the solutions exist within the current public school system.
"They are the Kotahitanga programme, the Kahikatea programme that are rolled out in state schools. They are kura. Kura is achieving enormous gains for Māori kids. They need to be supported everywhere that we can. I'm really worried the Māori Party is distracted by the sparkly promise of charter schools," she says.
The budget also contains a blow for Māori second chance learners, with students over the age of 40 being entitled to an allowance for only 120 weeks, rather than the current 200.
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