Free-for-all on public money meant for education
It seems right that last week it was announced NZ is more corrupt than we used to be. It’s easy to become hardened to the way things are changing. Disruption is…
It seems right that last week it was announced NZ is more corrupt than we used to be.
It’s easy to become hardened to the way things are changing. Disruption is innovation; entrepreneurship will solve complex social problems.
For a moment, it’s almost believable. Then you talk to teachers. And it’s not.
Events last week brought it all home.
The Whangaruru charter school closed at a cost of $4.8m to taxpayers. National and Act politicians made no mention of the money given to the trust for land and buildings, and whether this will be returned to the sector.
The small print of the TPP trade deal revealed the government is signing away our rights to a quality public education system.
The publicly listed company Evolve put out a press release bragging at its success in brokering the use of unqualified nanny interns. Unpaid interns, many of them teenagers, will be responsible for very young children at their most critical time for learning.
On a conservative calculation, Evolve is raking in millions from this ‘social entreprenuership’. The 1300 nannies work a minimum of 21 hours a week, the families pay $5 an hour, plus the company gets a government subsidy – either the $9 an hour for ECE or possibly a youth employment subsidy (it markets its intern programme at 17-25-year-olds). Overheads aren’t high on this model.
And to top it off – read the Villa Education website (a charter-school operator). The owner justifies profit-making by saying, “Teachers make money (i.e. profit) from educating children.” His argument goes that because educators are paid a wage, they make a “profit”. Try telling that to support staff. Or a teacher paying a mortgage in Auckland.
At the very least, it’s a corruption of language and how we think.