New school funding model aims to limit local governments' ability to influence distribution of funds

  • 2023-12-21
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Education and Science Ministry has prepared another new school financing model, called Program at School, which will reduce local governments' ability to influence the distribution of education budget funds.

According to the planned school funding model at the disposal of LETA, target allocations for teachers' salaries will technically continue to be channeled through municipalities, but they will no longer be able to redistribute the target allocations within the municipal school network as they see fit.

Currently, municipalities distribute the state's target allocation for teachers' salaries to educational institutions in accordance with a procedure developed and approved by the municipality, taking into account only the lowest teachers' salary rate set by the state. This allows, for example, smaller schools to be "subsidized" at the expense of larger ones.

The new funding model, on the other hand, provides for education institutions to receive the amount of the target allocation set by the ministry, while educational institutions would have autonomy to determine teachers' pay depending on the professional experience, qualifications, results and individual contribution of each teacher.

The state funding for the target allocation for teachers' remuneration for general primary and secondary education programs will be calculated for those educational institutions that meet certain criteria on the optimal number of pupils in an education institution.

If an educational institution fails to meet the quantitative criteria, and it is not identified as an exception, the state budget funding for the implementation of educational programs at the stage of grades 1-9 will be allocated in proportion to the actual number of pupils against the established optimal number of pupils in the class group, with the remaining part of the funding financed by the municipality from its own budget.

However, for the implementation of programs in grades 10-12, state funding will be allocated only for those programs that meet the criteria for the optimal number of pupils.

As previously reported, according to the Education and Science Ministry, the current education funding model  Pupil in Municipality in an inefficient school network contributes to the fragmentation of teachers' workloads, so that raising the lowest salary rate for teachers does not ensure a tangible pay rise for all, as a large share of teachers work with low workloads.