Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Bottlenecks in the decentralisation of education funding in Poland

Herbst, Mikolaj (2008): Bottlenecks in the decentralisation of education funding in Poland.

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Abstract

Ten years after delegating the responsibility for school management and operation maintenance to local governments, the education funding system in Poland still faces open challenges of fundamental importance. Although the decentralisation of education is commonly considered a success, the particular mechanisms of funding and legal solutions are hotly debated and certainly far from perfect. The financial responsibilities of the central government and the local authorities are imprecisely defined, which provokes conflicts and tensions between the main stakeholders. Moreover, the Polish education system lacks even the basic standards describing an efficient way of service provision. The formula used to allocate the so-called education subvention to individual local governments is subject to endless political bargains and trades and hardly reflects any reasonable policy. Recently, several ideas have been raised in the public debate in Poland on how to reform the funding of education. However, it seems that these heavily ideologised projects go far beyond the necessary changes and do not take into account either the complex context of decentralised education system or the experiences of other countries.

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