Last year Kelvin Davis threatened to resign if two partnership schools in his electorate closed.
. . . The MP Kelvin Davis said Māori wanted a measure of autonomy over the education of their children.
“So if they were to close they would no longer exist, that would be a bottom line for me, so the fact is they can exist as special character schools, that’s the bottom line to me.” . . .
. . . But should it win September’s election, Mr Jackson says Labour has no plans to close his school.
“Andrew Little, Chris Hipkins, they’re very supportive of our schools. They’ve been clear to me about that right from the start, otherwise I wouldn’t have joined,” he told The AM Show on Friday. . .
This year Education Minister Chris Hipkins is threatening the schools with closure:
Hipkins introduced the Education Amendment Bill today, which would formally end National Standards and charter schools.
“The Government’s strong view is that there is no place for them in the New Zealand education system,” Hipkins said. . .
The bill would mean an end to future charter schools, and allow existing ones to continue while the Ministry of Education considers options – such as becoming a designated character school – on a case-by-case system.
Unlike charter schools, a character school is part of the public education system, is funded like other state schools, and must adhere to the national curriculum.
Five charter schools were scheduled to open in 2018 and will no longer open. Eleven existing charter schools have a combined roll of about 1300 students.
Hipkins wanted existing charter schools to wind up before the end of their contracts by mutual agreement.
“If, however, early termination is not agreed by both parties, I am reserving my right to issue a notice of ‘termination for convenience’, under charter schools’ existing contracts, by the middle of May 2018. This would take effect at the end of the school year.” . .
The schools were part of an agreement between Act and National and National leader is an advocate for them.
English said closing the schools was “nasty and vindictive behaviour” and was ideological.
“And the victims of it will be young children who could have done better in a school that suited their needs.”
He said although Labour had dismissed concerns because the schools had only 1000 students in them, he said those students deserved the opportunities the schools gave them.
He said it was ‘shameful’ that had challenged Ardern to visit the schools in person to explain the decision to the children.
“I think it shows the PM is uncomfortable with the policy and certainly uncomfortable with facing the impact on the children. I’ve met these kids, I’ve met their parents.
They meet the needs of those kids. There might only be 1000 of them but they matter.”
He said a significant proportion of the students in the schools were Maori and Ardern had promised Maori up north to deliver to them. . .
Labour is putting politics, and paying back teacher unions before the needs of pupils.
All the schools, their staff and most importantly their pupils face uncertainty and the knowledge they could be axed at the whim of the minister.
He might give Davis and Jackson some wriggle room by renaming three schools to allow them to continue, but what about the other schools and more importantly the pupils who are succeeding after failing at conventional schools?