Parental contributions, school‐level finances and decentralization: an analysis of Nicaraguan autonomous school budgets
The Nicaraguan Autonomous School Programme is notable among the growing number of school governance decentralization reforms in the Americas in the degree of control given to parents, especially in decisions regarding the allocation of school resources. Much of schools' discretionary spending was accumulated through various school charges. This paper analyses rare school‐level budget data to determine the proportion of resources that derived from parental contributions and other school‐based commercial activity. We find the contributions to be significant, highly varied, and correlated with income. The results have implications for many decentralization reforms that encourage local contributions as part of both their financing and accountability strategies.
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