Charter Schools Escape Scrutiny
Kate Shuttleworth, The New Zealand Herald (October 17, 2012)
The Education Amendment Bill 2012 allows for the creation of charter schools, which are given the powers to set teachers’ pay rates, hire “unregistered” teachers, and set their own hours. Associate Education Minister John Banks backed the decision to exempt sponsors from being publicly accountable under the Official Information Act, and promised that charter schools will be held more accountable for improving student outcomes. These changes were called “frightening,” by Green Party education spokeswoman, Catherine Delahunty. “The bill gives enormous powers to ‘sponsors’ who may have no educational background but will set the rules and staff pay rates,” said Delahunty.
Other changes include:
•The introduction of a national student number for children aged under 6.
•Schools will be able to introduce flexible timetabling, including two schools running two timetables on one site.
•Boards of trustees will be required to be answerable for student achievement.
•Schools will have to publish annual financial statements.
For more information:
Charter school laws abuse parents rights