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Charter Schools, Education, Funding Schools, NZEI, Partnership Schools, School Funding

Principals frustrated by charter school bonuses

Double StandardsMore much-needed teacher aide time, providing more digital devices in the classrooms and supporting the cost of outdoor excursions are just some of the ways principals at public schools would spend a $20,000 bonus if they received one.

NZEI Te Riu Roa executive member and school principal Lynda Stuart says revelations that $60,000 of bonuses have been given to three charter schools, despite not meeting performance targets, is another example of taxpayer money going to support private enterprise instead of public education.

“Why aren’t charter schools more accountable?

This is very frustrating when we’re constantly being told to cut corners to save money and told to take short term solutions when we know they will be more costly in the long run.”

She says she would have spent a $20,000 bonus on supporting more children with digital devices and subsidising the costs of outdoor activities.

“We do this because these are beyond the budget of many parents at our school. We try very hard to put our children on a level playing field and give them experiences and opportunities that many other children can take for granted.  But as a school, we struggle to pay for the provision of an equitable learning environment for our students.”

Wanganui Intermediate principal Charles Oliver says if he had a $20,000 bonus he would fund an extra teacher aide for 25 hours a week for an entire year.

“This would be enormous benefit to many of our kids who are struggling because we simply can’t afford to provide enough one-on-one support for struggling students.”

He says the $60,000 charter school bonuses seem like another insult to the public education sector, especially as they come on top of reports last year that the privately-run schools were overfunded by nearly $900,000 more than if their funding was strictly roll based.

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