FINANCING FOR EQUITY
1. Overall Education Financing Mechanisms
2. Policies and Programmes to Provide Resources to Schools
3. Education Policies and Programmes to Provide Resources to Sudents and Families
4. Social Policies and Programmes to Provide Resources to Students and their Families
Education is compulsory and free between the ages of 3 and 17 years at the initial, basic and secondary levels, and the State finances the public higher education system. The State provides the physical infrastructure, pedagogical and technological resources and teaching staff.
The State supervises public and private educational establishments, provides technical and material support to private institutions of public interest, and encourages private non-profit investment to strengthen the education system. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology manage education spending, while social subsidies related to education are implemented by Social Management.
The Ministry of Education allocates centralized and decentralized resources. Centralized resources are goods and services procured by the ministry then sent to schools. These cover most of the operational costs (staff, classrooms, school furniture and schoolbooks). Decentralized resources are annual transfers of money from the Ministry of Education to the district boards of education and culture to cover goods and services (pedagogical support, maintenance of school infrastructure and administrative expenses). The transfer programme allocates resources according to the number of students per district and allocates additional sums to districts with fewer resources and greater educational problems. Each year the annual decentralized expenditure per student is defined by the National Education Planning and Development Office.
The State funds the public higher education system through educational loans and scholarships.
In 2017, education spending in the Dominican Republic was USD 3.34 billion (170.6 billion Dominican pesos – DOP): 4.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) or 23.8 per cent of public spending. In the same year, the total school-age population was 3.8 million and public expenditure per student was USD 2,390 purchasing power parity (PPP) in primary education and PPP$ 3,059 in secondary education.
 In 2017, the GDP of the Dominican Republic was USD 75.93 billion and public spending was USD 14 billion (DOP 711.4 billion). Total education expenditure was
The National Institute of Student Welfare of the Ministry of Education implements a group of interventions focused on students in vulnerable situations. In 2017, these interventions accounted for USD 346 million (DOP 17.6 billion), i.e. 10.4 per cent of education spending. The interventions include the School Feeding Programme, which served 1.7 million students in preschool, primary and secondary school (44 per cent of the school-age population) at a cost of USD 318 million (DOP 16 billion), i.e. 8.5 per cent of public spending on education; the School Health Programme, which served 1.8 million students (47 per cent of the school-age population) at a cost of USD 1.5 million (DOP 77.3 million); and the Student Social Service Programme, which provided school materials and supplies to 799,807 students (21 per cent of the school-age population) at a cost of USD 17.6 million (DOP 895 million).
The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology implements a national scholarship programme for higher technical, undergraduate and graduate education aimed at academically excellent young people from all over the country from low-income backgrounds. In 2017, 6,012 national scholarships were awarded, equivalent to USD 14.1 million (DOP 716 million) (0.42 per cent of public spending on education).
Student Incentive Programme/Solidarity Card
This is implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and the Social Subsidies Administrator of the Social Cabinet, which funds the programme. The programme grants Student Incentive debit cards loaded with USD 9.87 (DOP 500) per month to university students from the lowest income sectors who have graduated from schools located on the poverty map and are enrolled in any of the centres of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD). The funds can be used to pay for tuition, books and study supplies. In 2017, 19,000 students benefited from the programme and in 2016 it had a budget of USD 2.8 million (DOP 145.2 million), i.e. 0.08 per cent of public spending on education.
Progressing with Solidarity (2012-)
This is a conditional transfer programme aimed at families living in poverty, prioritizing female-headed households in extreme poverty. It has seven components, including an educational component. In 2017, it cost USD 279 million (DOP 13.2 billion), i.e. 0.37 per cent of GDP and benefited 3.5 million people from 970,171 households, (33.3 per cent of the population).
Incentivo a la Asistencia Escolar [School Attendance Incentive – ILAE]
Aimed at households living in extreme and moderate poverty with children and young people aged 6–16 years who attend school at the initial and basic levels. The transfer ranges from USD 2.90 (DOP 150) per month for one child to USD 11.70 (DOP 600) per month for households with four children. To meet the educational requirement, children must be enrolled in school and have 80 per cent attendance.
Bono Escolar Estudiando Progreso [Student Progress Bonus – BEEP]
Targeted at households in extreme and moderate poverty with young people aged up to 21 years. The transfer is USD 4.89 (DOP 250) per month for each young person aged under 21 years enrolled in the first or second year of secondary school, USD 7.34 (DOP 375) in the third and fourth year of secondary school, and USD 9.79 (DOP 500) in professional technical courses.