NZEI: Charter school bonuses 'frustrating'

Minister of Education Hekia Parata signed off on a payment of $60,000 to charter schools (Getty)
Minister of Education Hekia Parata signed off on a payment of $60,000 to charter schools (Getty)

A revelation that the Government has given $60,000 to three charter schools has angered public school principals, according to the New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI).

NZEI executive member Lynda Stuart believes the bonuses those schools have received is a further example of taxpayer money supporting private enterprise -- and she says public schools would benefit from that level of funding.

"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," she said.

Wanganui Intermediate principal Charles Oliver says a monetary bonus in the region of $20,000 would fund an additional teacher aide for a 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."

Ms Stuart says it's upsetting that charter schools are getting the money public schools desperately need -- especially as the charter schools in question failed to reach performance targets.

"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 said.

Ms Stuart says more teacher aides, digital devices and outdoor excursions could be purchased for public schools if they got the appropriate funding.