Comparing the New Zealand school system and the US’s school system(s) is…hard. I’m not going to boast a comprehensive view of either, but I’m going to do the best that I can to give you an overview of the basic systematic workings.
So that’s your bare-bones overview of our general school systems and I’m pretty sure my outline is an insult to the actual complications that each entails.
One thing I find interesting about New Zealand public education is that it’s free-ish. All schools “suggest” a donation from each of their students for certain things like field trips, school functions, certain supplies, etc. These donations can range from $70-$700 NZD (about $50-$500 USD) or more. Students can still attend schools if they can’t afford the donation, but they would not be allowed to participate in the things that the donations pay for. These donations have, of course, caused issues for families who cannot or choose not to pay the “voluntary” funds. This leads to headlines like Parent Claims Bully-Tactics from Schools over Donations and Schools Heavy Parents Over Fees.
Neither of these outlines comments on special education, but I will tell you that there is only a national branch of special education in New Zealand and in the US there are special education departments at federal, state, and local levels.
More to come.