Let’s hear it for the PPTA – whether we privatise a school or nationalise one, they are opposed

The PPTA is opposed to charter schools – one of its discussion papers claims – because they pave the way for privatising the state school system.

The very same PPTA also opposes the application by a private school to join the state system.

Go figure.

If these tossers added 2+2 the answer would be …

Anything but four and probably something that needs taken to eight decimal points.

Alf makes this observation on learning here that a private school run by the Brethren religious group has become the largest to apply to join the state sector as an integrated school.

Westmount School has 1600 students scattered across 24 sites from Northland to Southland. The Education Ministry says it is preparing a report on the application for the Education Minister.

The Westmount Education Trust says integration has worked well for Catholic, Jewish and Islamic schools and would be good for Westmount School.

It says it would give the school greater opportunities to share its teaching methods and allow its students to benefit from increased resources.

Any snags to this, that you can see?

Ah, yes.

The Post Primary Teachers Association and the Educational Institute oppose the application.

They say government funding for the school will leap from $2.3 million a year to more than $9 million, and that money would be better spent elsewhere.

Post Primary Teachers Association president Angela Roberts says the funding won’t help the Maori, Pasifika and low-income children the Government wants to help most.

Educational Institute secretary Paul Goulter says the state system cannot afford another school.

“This is going to come into a state system that’s already underfunded and it’s really having difficulty with existing levels of resources, and here’s another group of students coming in and that will place even more pressure on it,” he says.

This Goulter feller says the Educational Institute is suspicious of the integration process because the Government late last year agreed to integrate Wanganui Collegiate…

And the problem with that integration?

There was no need for more state school places in Wanganui or the surrounding region.

So they moan about schools being shut.

And they moan about schools being added.

Dunno what the Educational Institute has to say about a plot to privatise state schools when, to the contrary, it has been bitching about the Wanganui integration and is opposing this new proposal from the Westmount Education Trust.

But Alf is aware of the PPTA’s fuzzy thinking. It website includes a paper – to be discussed at their annual conference in a few days – which

… asserts that Charter schools are the stalking horse for full privatisation of the New Zealand education system.

These schools as created by Act Party and National Party amendments to the Education Act this year, will be fully taxpayer funded private schools to be operated by private sponsors, with limited protections for students, little or no representation by parents, and little oversight to ensure taxpayer funds are spent appropriately.

The political intent behind the set-up of these schools has nothing to do with improving education outcomes for students. There is, in fact, no evidence that shows these schools will in any way benefit the New Zealand education system.

So let the PPTA give us a clear account of how they reconcile their positions.

A church school should not leave the private system to join the state sector.

And charter schools should not be set up because they pave the way for privatisation.

Here’s hoping they have nothing to do with teaching logic to our kids.

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