School funding system favors private schools, report finds

In some areas, private schools that accept a large number of children from disadvantaged homes qualify for more funds than public schools

The article is written with Syrian refugees, among others, in mind (photo: iStock)
January 4th, 2013 3:48 pm| by admin
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Copenhagens school funding model makes it possible for some private schools to receive more funding from the city than some of the citys public schools, a new study concludes.

The study, compiled by the centre-left think tank Cevea, found that private schools receive, on average, up to 41,000 kroner per student annually, while public schools get an average of 39,000 kroner per student a year, even though private schools officially are only supposed to get 72 percent of the amount public schools receive.

Niels Egelund, of Aarhus University, said the findings indicated a widening gap between the rich and poor.

“The social distortion prevalent today is to the gain of rich kids and damaging to the poor,” Egelund told Information newspaper.

One of the problems, according to Egelund is that private schools are compensated according to the same model as publically funded schools are. In Copenhagen, schools get more funding for pupils from disadvantaged families, and if private schools accept more such pupils, their subsidies surpass the amount of funding some public schools receive.

The education minister, Christine Antorini (Socialdemokraterne), had previously rejected making changes to the current subsidy model, but she indicated that changes may be on the way after all.

Cevea looked at subsidies given to public and private schools with comparable student populations, but Kurt Ernst, the Danmarks Privatskoleforening, which represents private schools, argued that they way it was presented was misleading.

“In the calculations, theyve highlighted individual schools and individual councils, but on a national level private schools receive far less subsidies and there is a huge focus on how councils distribute funds to their public schools,” Ernst told Information. “Copenhagen has a system they use which is good for them, but they might not do things that way other places.”

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