Bill to abolish charter schools is defeated



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Labour's member's Bill to put an end to charter schools was defeated 63-57 on its first reading last night.

National, the Maori Party, ACT and United Future opposed the Bill while Labour, the Greens and NZ First supported it.

The Maori Party has been clear in its support for charter schools and helped ensure the Bill’s failure, urging Maori MPs in other parties to vote against the Bill.

UnitedFuture leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says that while UnitedFuture remains opposed to charter schools, the party did not support Labour’s Bill as it raised some “alarming propositions that go far beyond the issue of charter schools”.  Chief among the party’s concerns is that under the Bill, students and parents would be left in the lurch if charter schools were abolished.

The teacher unions have opposed the introduction of charter schools from the very beginning and were eager to see the Bill passed.  The PPTA and NZEI called upon MPs yesterday to support the Bill.

"Charter schools suck up funding that should be used to pay for quality public education, for every New Zealand child,” said NZEI’s Paul Goulter.

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