tion. He claims that what may appear to be a contradiction on the surface, of recentralizing while appearing to be decentralizing, is not so much a contradiction -- it only appears that way. Rather, it is indicative of a new regulative mode-one that is characterized by a quest by governments to reduce expenditure and wind back the welfare state, in a context where the placatory rhetoric is one of "choice," "ownership," and "partnership" (p. 231). In Britain this has taken fullest expression in the Educational Reform Act ( 1988), where the education system has been restructured "along the lines of a market, free and unfettered by state intervention" (p. 234). This tendency can take various forms: "free-standing" educational institutions (held in place by national curriculum and testing); "charter schools" (that enter into formal agreements with central agencies and obtain funding conditional upon achieving targets); "local support models" (with tight central control and devolution of resources); and "recentralization models" (the retention of some semblance of a national system, tightly regulated at various levels).
In sum, the planning and implementation of education policy worldwide is coming to be characterized by modes of regulation that represent sharp breaks with the recent past. As Fraser ( 1989) expressed it, we have "pseudoautonomy in the conditions of pseudo-symmetry" (p. 49) in the contexts which are represented in Hartley ( 1994) terms as "choice, diversity and ownership" (p. 242), except that they fall far short of the authentic meaning attaching to those terms.
Fraser, Nancy, 1989. Unruly Practices. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
Garman, Noreen, 1995. "The Schizophrenic Rhetoric of School Reform and the Effects on Teacher Development." In John Smyth , ed., Critical Discourses on Teacher Development. London: Cassell, 21-36
Hartley, David, 1994. "Mixed Messages in Education Policy: Sign of the Times?" British Journal of Educational Studies, vol 42, no. 3 (September) 230-244
Ilon, Lyn, 1994. "Structural Adjustment and Education: Adapting to a Growing Global Market". International Journal of Educational Development, vol. 14, no. 2:95-108
Maglen, Leo, 1990. "Challenging the Human Capital Orthodoxy: The Education-Productivity Link Reexamined". Economic Record, vol. 66:281-294
National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983. A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. Washington, D.C.
EDUCATION AID. Financial assistance, generally in the form of an intergovernmental grant, provided by state governments to local school districts in the United States, often to alleviate inequities between school districts.
Educational aid provided by state governments to local school districts represents one of the major sources for funding of public education in the United States. In 1991, state governments raised over $100 billion in revenue for education, close to 50 percent of national spending on education. State education assistance has been growing steadily in importance during the last century (see Table 1). Besides its importance, state education aid has been the center of a continuing controversy over the reform of school finance in the United States. In the last two decades, scores of lawsuits have been filed against state governments challenging the equity of state school finance systems. Changes in school aid distribution are often the outcomes of this litigation.
The role of state governments in the financing of public education has evolved over the history of the United States. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, schools were primarily private and religious institutions. Due in part to efforts of education reformers, such as Horace Mann and Henry Barnard, publicly supported common schools became the educational norm by the beginning of the twentieth century. However, financial and curriculum decisions remained principally in the hands of local school boards. In 1920, over 80 percent of education revenue came from local governments (Table 1). What state assistance was provided to local school districts was in the form of a flat grant per pupil. The role of the federal government in financing schools was practically nonexistent until the 1930s.
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF EDUCATION REVENUE BY|
LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT
Real expenditures per|
pupil ( 1992-93 dollars)
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education,
National Center for Education Statistics,|
Digest of Education Statistics, 1993, Tables 156 and 165.