Private Schools Receive Unregulated State Funds

November 18, 2005

AUTHORITIES in the Public Education Ministry are investigating the way in which 29 private schools use nearly ¢5 billion ($10.2 million) in state funding, the daily La Nación reported. The investigation comes at the request of the High Council of Education, the body in charge of developing national education policies, after former Education Minister and current council member Guillermo Vargas submitted a motion for the investigation because of concerns about oversight of the funds.According to Vargas, the money is intended to go toward helping disadvantaged children at the schools; however, because there is little accountability for the funds’ use, schools may be using it for other ends such as paying their teachers, the daily reported.Education Ministry official Irving Matthews told La Nación there are no regulations defining what conditions a school must meet to receive the funds, nor what it must do with the money, which has been awarded to private schools for decades.

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