Some of the comments regarding charter schools are nothing short of disgraceful.
Te Huarahi Maori Motuhake representative Te Makao Bowkett agreed, and told the committee the resourcing that would be taken away from state education to support charter schools would leave less for Maori and Pacifika students.
“It is a state abrogation of their responsibility for the education of the children of this nation to even suggest that somehow or other by creating an experiment for a few, that would actually cater and meet the needs of this nation,” she said.
The state does not have the responsibility for the education of the “children of the nation”. Parents have the responsibility to educate their children, who do not belong to “the nation”.
We are not a communist society where people must use state services, where people are told where to live and work and can never leave. This is a free nation, where people are free to make their own choices.
Besides which, how can this model “leave less for Maori and Pacifika students”? Funding for schools is per-student. If students leave a school and go to another, that school’s funding is adjusted accordingly Thus, (one would assume that) money is “taken” from individual schools routinely. The only difference here is that that money will not go to another state school, but to a charter school. That child will still receive the same funding, but they will have the same ability that a private school pupil’s parents would have – to chose a non-state option.
In other words, if we assume that Maori and Pacifika are the poor, then this actually means that Maori and Pacifika students will be given those opportunities.
In other works, Te Makao Bowkett is trying to tell us that in order to improve the lives of the poor, you have to keep them under state control.