The Privatization Blitzkrieg
Tolley to meet school voucher pioneer
Education Minister Anne Tolley is meeting a controversial American schools leader who pioneered a scheme heralded by former US president George W. Bush. Tolley yesterday departed for a nine-day North American tour. While in the United States, Tolley said she would meet Michelle Rhee, the Washington DC Schools Chancellor. Rhee established an American-first "voucher programme" called the "Opportunity Scholarship" in Washington DC in 2004. A similar scheme already under way in New Zealand has been criticised for diverting money out of the public system and sending a message that private schools are better. The US scheme gave about 1900 pupils from low-income families up to $7500 to attend private schools of their choice, but the Obama Administration has limited future funding of Rhee's voucher scheme. Many Democrats and American teachers' unions claimed the voucher programme sucked taxpayer money from public schools, making it harder for them to serve any children well. Earlier this month, The Press revealed poor Kiwi families would be income-tested for the chance of "an enhanced educational opportunity" at private schools. Associate Education Minister Heather Roy said 250 low-income children would be offered independent school scholarships.
You’ve got to hand it to National, for a Political Party that got elected on ‘change’ with no actual definition of what that ‘change’ was going to be. The vast privatization blitzkrieg National have quietly been working on in the background is so offensive because National have no mandate for these great leaps backwards, it was this ideology that saw them in opposition for 3 terms. The neoliberal agenda of deregulation, tax cuts and privatization have failed globally and their zealous pursuit has been the reason why the International economy has fallen into the black hole of a great recession. Watching our multi-millionaire Mr Aspiration Optimist Prime soft sell the new National neoliberal agenda while pretending to ‘consult’ with NZ is a lesson in marketing spin that Hell Pizza could learn from.
So far National have ‘consulted’ on Climate Change and the Maori seats. While ‘consulting’ on these issues, the Nats have just gone ahead and implemented what they intended to do in the first place, there is no ‘consultation’ with National.
In the background we have these private consultants who have all hours access to Minister’s offices quietly working on the mass privatization of public services in NZ. We are seeing Ryall working on it in health and look at Tolley meeting the Dark Lord of the Sith in America for the insidious ‘voucher’ system. Tolley has brought the voucher system into NZ, why offer children from poor homes private school scholarships when that money should be going into making the public school system better? It’s elitist bullshit and a way to start education privatization in NZ under the guise of ‘helping the poor’.