I’ve not said much over the last week or so. It’s coming to a busy time in the school year as we begin ticking the government National Standards box and deliver our half-yearly report.
Let’s quickly talk about this:
Sites left vacant by Christchurch school closures could be in demand for charter schools or apartment complexes.
The Government’s school shake-up will leave 14 surplus school grounds in the city with a combined rating value of $51.8 million, including land value of $9.8m.
There has been plenty of talk in recent months about the so-called “shake-up” of Christchurch schools. Last week we discovered which of our colleagues are going to be forced, due to their jobs, to transition their students into new schools for the next school year. This on top of everything else. Teachers will do it though because it’s not about us. It’s about the kids.
So if you are the staff and students at Phillipstown School you’ll probably have read the above article and thought… well… um… so it looks like we’ll be sold off to be part of the new indoor stadium, or the site of a new charter school.
This afternoon in parliament our heavenly minister Hekia refused to “rule out” the using of closed school sites for new charter schools.
What does this mean? Well, for a start, all of those school sites in Christchurch that will be empty from the week before Christmas are up for grabs. Either by a charter school operator (religious or corporate – possibly iwi – but definitely not educational), or for those land grabbers that are salivating over the prospects of redeveloping red-zone / unused Ministry of Education land.
There will be a lot of people who think this is a good thing. As the ACT Party so fabulously tweeted this afternoon:
“It is a matter of choice. Nobody has to attend a Partnership School” -Dr Cam Calder #partnershipschools
— ACT Party (@actparty) June 4, 2013
They really are a quality political outfit.
So, everybody has a choice about attending a charter school. You don’t have to go if you don’t want to. Especially if the charter school in question is the school closest to you and the school your children used to attend was closed by the government to make way for the charter school you don’t have to attend because you have a choice.
A 40 minute journey to school vs a 10 minute journey in a cold, wet Christchurch winter is not a choice.
So, dear readers, watch this space. Here is my charter school guarantee for you.
The brand-new charter schools being set up by the GERManiacs in our National-led government will be established on the Phillipstown School site set to open at the start of 2015.
By 2015, after a year of walking this walk every day, parents at Phillipstown will welcome the (re)opening of a school nearer them and will flock to it. They won’t care that Phillipstown is a charter run by some random organisation chosen by John Banks and Hekia Parata to operate a secret school for profit. All they’ll worry about is not having an hour round trip twice a day to ensure their kid gets to school safely.
A “brand-new” school much closer to them will be far too hard to resist and BINGO! You have a full school.
A full school filled with children of parents who are far less likely to question you or your policies or remove their children when they feel things aren’t right.
Remember: Hekia “hasn’t ruled out” the recycling of empty Christchurch schools. What else is she up to?
PS: I initially planned to crank two topics tonight following the release of the report into Novopay, but that rant will have to wait. God bless you Christchurch colleagues. You amaze me with what you’ve had to go through over the last three years.