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Charter Schools, GERM (Global Education Reform Movement), Government Policy, New Zealand, Privatisation of state schools, QPEC

NZ’s Charter Schools Small and Expensive – QPEC

NZ’s charter schools are proving to be small and expensive, according to figures obtained under the Official Information Act.

The 1 March roll returns confirm a total of only 367 students were enrolled in the first five charter schools, which makes this an expensive experiment”, says QPEC Chairperson Bill Courtney.

In contrast to their small size, there is a high level of cash funding, as detailed payments obtained under the Official Information Act show quite clearly.”

Over $6 million has been paid out to the sponsors of these schools in one-off, non-recoverable Establishment Payments.

In addition, the regular Operational funding is proving to be higher than local State schools in the same area.

If the purpose of charter schools was to create alternatives in places such as South Auckland, then the funding comparisons need to be fair.

Our point is simple: if the government is prepared to throw that much funding at charter schools, then why aren’t they prepared to do the same for ALL the children of South Auckland? Give them all a chance!”

Small Size

The first five charter schools commenced operation this year. Sponsor contracts and the Roll Returns as at 1 March 2014 (released on the Education Counts website) reveal the following:

School

Establishment Payment

(one-off)

Guaranteed

Minimum Roll

Maximum

Roll

Actual Roll

@ 1 March

South Auckland Middle School

$1,019,533

90

120

108

Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru

$1,379,150*

71

128

63

Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa

$1.880,693

50

300

50

Rise Up Academy

$391,945

50

100

42

Vanguard Military School

$1,611,534

108

192

104

Total

$6,282,855

369

840

367

* The Whangaruru school also received part of its operational property funding in advance to assist with property development.

So, to date, the Ministry of Education has paid a total of $6.28 million in one-off Establishment Payments to the Sponsors of the schools. Costs have also been incurred, no doubt, inside the Ministry to assist the schools to open.

Based on the 1 March roll returns, two schools have opened at or above the contractual Guaranteed Minimum Roll for 2014 while three are below.

A significant proportion of the Operational funding for each school comprises Base Funding and allowances for Property and Insurance, to ensure the schools are viable. These figures are based on the Maximum Roll for each school, i.e. what is estimated as necessary to fund the schools as they grow towards their target roll.

The “Per Student” and the “Centrally Funded” components of the Operational Payment are based initially on the Guaranteed Minimum Roll and will vary in future as the school roll changes.

The following breakdown of the annual Operational Payment for 2014 paid to each school has been obtained from the Ministry of Education under the Official Information Act.

School

Property / Insurance

Base Funding

Centrally Funded

Per Student

Operational

Payment ($ p.a.)

$ per student based on 1 March Roll

South Auckland Middle School

303,684

571,448

24,840

440,972

1,340,944

12,416

Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru

111,574

997,044

19,596

380,347

1,508,561

23,945

Te Kura Hourua O Whangarei Terenga Paraoa

737,936

997,044

13,800

267,850

2,016,630

40,333

Rise Up Academy

91,236

145,856

13,800

233,552

484,444

11,534

Vanguard Military School

518,396

997,044

29,808

578,556

2,123,804

20,421

Total

$7,474,383

State School Funding

Comparisons between the funding model for charter schools and the funding for State schools are not straightforward. Differences arise in how several of the component parts of the funding model are treated.

Charter schools receive all of their funding through a “cashed up” approach, where every component is paid in cash direct to the Sponsor on a quarterly basis.

State schools receive their funding in various ways, with only the Operations Grant paid directly to the school as a cash sum. In addition, each State school receives a Teaching Entitlement, based on its size and roll. Boards of Trustees employ the principals and teachers, who are paid through the centrally operated payroll system but with their costs charged back against the Board’s accounts.

Funding for property maintenance is paid in cash through the Operations Grant but funding for property development and capital works is funded centrally through an allocation set every 5 years for each school.

It is possible to make a direct comparison between one of the charter schools, The Rise Up Academy, and local state schools. Rise Up is a Year 1 to 6 primary school located in Mangere and its funding can be compared to the other local state primary schools in the Mangere/Otahuhu area.

The following table shows the detailed information shown for each school on the Education Counts website, under the information tab “Find A School”.

School

Decile

Roll

Operations

Teacher Salaries

Total

Funding per student

Fairburn

2

687

1,162,552

2,750,490

3,913,042

5,696

Favona

1

451

748,067

1,932,585

2,680,652

5,944

Jean Batten

2

450

838,490

1,976,040

2,814,530

6,255

Kingsford

1

394

744,573

1,508,605

2,253,178

5,719

Mangere Bridge

4

388

498,868

1,555,867

2,054,735

5,296

Mangere East

1

513

852,429

2,064,544

2,916,973

5,686

Mountain View

2

280

559,773

1,308,006

1,867,779

6,671

Nga Iwi

1

423

738,361

1,841,137

2,579,498

6,098

Otahuhu

1

480

873,042

2,128,749

3,001,791

6,254

Waterlea

6

421

467,392

1,737,709

2,205,101

5,238

Total

4,487

$26,287,279

$5,859

This table does not include capital property funding or the access that State schools would have had to Centrally Funded services, such as Resource Teachers. But it must also be noted that State school property expenditure will be on assets that the Crown owns and retains after development. Boards of Trustees have significant influence over how this property development takes place at their school, but in the end, the asset is on the Crown balance sheet and not that of the Board of Trustees.

~ QPEC (Quality Public Education Coalition)

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi

Discussion

One thought on “NZ’s Charter Schools Small and Expensive – QPEC

  1. Reblogged this on My Thinks and commented:
    Some interesting figures on the cost of charter schools… sorry… partnership schools. I like the comparison with the public sector schools. It’s interesting that this comes out as information from the UK showing Michael Gove is raiding various other parts of the education sector to fund his predictably unsuccessful free schools experiment.

    Like

    Posted by boonman | May 12, 2014, 7:05 pm

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