In the wake of moves in Australia to cut private school funding because they can raise funds directly from parents through fees comes an examination of the way it is all done in Sweden. The Economist reports (and I know I am a few weeks late on this) about the ‘IKEA-like’ chain of privately operated, for profit, schools that are proving successful in Sweden. These schools are free, and must be non-discriminatory in how they accept students (although religious orientation is fine). Basically, the schools are paid the amount that a student would receive from being educated in the public system. It is a voucher without a voucher.
The successful chains offer very standardised programs, simple infrastructure and incentive pay for teachers. As a result parents get a ton of information on their childrens’ performance.
So this is the way the most social democratic of countries is heading. What is more, the idea of linking funding to a student is the key to breaking down the political barriers to investments in education.