By attracting private capital to education do government education policies promote or inhibit educational equity?

Year: 2012

Author: Hentschke, Guilbert

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


In the U.S. both compulsory and tertiary education systems are now attracting significant levels of private sector capital into operations and growth, increasing privatization. Primary sources in compulsory education are vouchers, tax credits, and charters; primary sources in tertiary education are investors and tuition-paying households. One of the fundamental aims of education is equity or “fairness in access to educational opportunities” (Levin et al). Are current privatization trends in education exacerbating or mitigating inequality? How do different sources and applications of private financial capital influence these trends?  Are the trends having the same effects in compulsory and tertiary education? In pursuing these questions Hentschke identifies: (1) the major sources of private human, financial, and organizational capital that have been attracted into education services, (2) the primary policies that have triggered those flows into education, and (3) the major categories of student markets that have been served via these partially privatized services.