A Moerewa grandfather says the money the Ministry of Education has spent on sending students out of town for their schooling could have been invested locally.
The ministry closed the senior unit at Moerewa School amid local protest last term, saying students were not getting quality education at NCEA level.
Ron Poti, whose grandsons were in the senior unit, says the ministry's now paying for uniforms, travel costs, and extra tuition for students who've enrolled elsewhere - as well as the cost of the commissioner it installed after sacking Moerewa's board of trustees.
He says that money could have employed two teachers and raised the level of the Moerewa senior class to the required level, avoiding the disruption and stress caused by the closure of the unit.
Mr Poti says his boys have enrolled in trade-training courses.
Nine other Moerewa students have gone to Bay of Islands College and six have opted to stay in Moerewa and take NCEA courses by correspondence, supervised by whanau and staff at the local Community Trust.