the government perceived these problems to be a consequence of an institutional decentralization concentrated only in administrative and financial aspects.
The profound effect generated by the financial mechanism of the subsidy per student introduced competition among educational institutions. According to Espinola ( 1991) the need to obtain resources through student attendance "required the directors, and also the teachers, to look outside the school and to pay attention to what the parents wanted in it." Thus, the need of responding to "the clients," trying to satisfy them with the educational services offered, would be a new element that has generated changes within the schools. Finally, one must also point out the impact of competition on demand for educational services (see Table 18.1), which caused the sustained and massive transfer of students from the municipal schools to private subsidized schools over a ten-year period.
Thus, according to the stated objectives, it is possible to conclude that the decentralization reform led to better opportunities to improve the efficiency of the system as well as to greater parental participation. On the other hand, teachers' working conditions got worse, at least regarding their salaries. Finally, a strong controversy surrounds the effect of the decentralization reform on quality and equity of education.
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Publication information: Book title: Schooling for Success:Preventing Repetition and Dropout in Latin American Primary Schools. Contributors: Laura Randall - Editor, Joan B. Anderson - Editor. Publisher: M. E. Sharpe. Place of publication: Armonk, NY. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 209.
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