Schools’ fund­ing

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

St Kentigern’s poach­ing of play­ers from lower-decile schools il­lu­mi­nates an is­sue fac­ing our whole ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

Why is it that the only way kids from poor, gen­er­ally Poly­ne­sian back­grounds can get an ‘‘elite’’ pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion is by be­ing blessed with su­per­hu­man ath­letic abil­ity?

Why is it also that by re­main­ing in their present schools they are both less likely to suc­ceed in their cho­sen sport and also sig­nif­i­cantly less likely to ex­cel aca­dem­i­cally?

It is be­cause we have a fun­da­men­tally un­equal and racially frag­mented ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. If we look at our elite pri­vate schools, they are pre­dom­i­nantly, if not ex­clu­sively, wealthy whites and/or oc­ca­sion­ally Asian, with the odd to­ken Ariki Ma¯ ori.

Con­trast that with many state schools, par­tic­u­larly in lower deciles, and many will have scarcely a Euro­pean face, with Poly­ne­sians pre­dom­i­nat­ing where white flight has taken place.

Com­pound­ing this is the fact that our taxes prop up these very wealthy pri­vate schools, giv­ing them the ad­di­tional funds to not only waste on vain­glo­ri­ous projects like poach­ing rugby play­ers, but also to cherry-pick teach­ers from the state sec­tor.

Surely the way to ad­dress this racist sys­tem is to stop fund­ing it. By com­pletely re­mov­ing state fund­ing from pri­vate schools, these bas­tions of ed­u­ca­tional ex­clu­siv­ity, we would also free up mil­lions of dol­lars to prop­erly re­mu­ner­ate our state-school teach­ers.

If pri­vate schools wish to con­tinue to fund elite rugby teams and/or cherry-pick teach­ers from the state sec­tor – they should be free to do so by charg­ing par­ents who choose to do so – but our taxes should not con­tinue fund­ing this ed­u­ca­tional apartheid.

Kit Carter, Hamil­ton

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