Charter school concern

By Victoria White

6 comments
Tukituki MP Craig Foss.
Tukituki MP Craig Foss.

Speculation has arisen over whether Tukituki MP Craig Foss is working to provide Hastings with its first charter school.

Labour's Tukituki candidate, Anna Lorck, said she was seeking an assurance from Mr Foss that he and his Government were not "working behind the scenes to create a charter school".

"The public have a right to know what's going on and how their taxpayer money is being spent in Tukituki," she said.

Ms Lorck said, given Mr Foss' "performance" over Havelock North's promised primary school, he had already proven he was against putting "the right school in the right place at the right time".

"Charter schools are a wasteful and costly experiment. They get four times more funding per student than a public school," she said.

"We have public schools across Tukituki relying on the already stretched resources to perform basic functions. We have Havelock North losing its promised primary school. Do we also now have Mr Foss, along with Hekia Parata and Nikki Kaye, planning a charter school?"

Mr Foss was unavailable for comment but a spokeswoman from his office said the responsibility for school planning and funding rested with Education Minister.

Ms Lorck said the National Party had frozen public school budgets and parents were facing increasing costs for "voluntary" donations and activity fees. "Money would be better spent on resourcing our public schools and reducing costs to parents - not charter schools," she said.

Earlier this month, Minister of Education Hekia Parata announced eight new classrooms were to be built in a $4 million government spend to help three Havelock North schools cope with a rolls blow-out - including up to 100 more pupils by the end of this year. She did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Havelock North Primary School would get four new rooms as its roll, currently 537, grows by more than 10 per cent over the next 18 months.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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