The State, provinces and City of Buenos Aires are responsible for financing the national education system. Public spending is primarily financed by the Ministry of Education (87.3 per cent), the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (10.6 per cent) and the Ministry of Planning (2.1 per cent). The national government finances 40 per cent of education spending, while the provinces finance 60 per cent. The provinces have three revenue sources for financing education: i) revenue from provincial taxes; ii) automatic transfers of federal resources from the national government in line with redistribution criteria; and iii) non-automatic transfer of resources from the national education portfolio or other national ministries.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, in conjunction with the Federal Education Council, provides textbooks and other pedagogical, cultural, material, technological and economic resources to students and schools in disadvantaged socioeconomic situations. The State recognizes, authorizes and oversees the operation of private schools. In licensed private schools, teacher salaries are financed by the State, which allocated 3.7 per cent of education spending to the private sector in 2016.
- Federal tax revenue redistribution (automatic transfer) is the fiscal mechanism used to allocate revenue from taxes. Resources are allocated through primary distribution (State: 42.34 per cent; subnational jurisdictions: 54.36 per cent; the most vulnerable provinces: 2 per cent; and the National Treasury Advance Fund: 1 per cent) and secondary distribution. Under the 2005 Education Financing Act, a portion of these resources must be used to fund education according to a formula based on enrolment numbers, incidence of rural areas and the out-of-school population.
- For non-automatic transfers, the Comprehensive Annual Operational Plans developed by the provinces are used to establish the amount, which is then allocated as the previously transferred funds are implemented.
Second Rural Education Improvement Project (PROMER II): Aims to reduce repetition rates and increase graduation rates in rural schools by providing teacher training and school equipment, carrying out infrastructure improvements and distributing teaching materials. It is funded through a World Bank loan of USD 250.5 million for four years (2015–2019), benefiting 60 per cent of the rural student population by 2017.
Compensatory Education Programme: Aims to ensure high-quality education and equal opportunities. In 2016, this programme targeted 5 per cent of the school-age population and accounted for 4.8 per cent of the education budget. Its initiatives include:
- NEXOS: Intended to develop links between secondary education and the university level through academic tutoring in schools and the production of educational material. It aims to strengthen the integration process for students entering higher education, promote the continuation of studies and provide the skills required by the job market.
- ASISTIRÉ [I Will Attend]: Provides staff to support secondary school students at risk of dropping out of school.
- Escuelas FARO [FARO Schools]: Supports vulnerable public primary and secondary schools by assessing learning conditions and pedagogical-institutional organization. The programme provides counselling and support services as well as resources and teaching materials.
Progresar [Progress]: Scholarships that provide financial aid to help students complete compulsory education or take vocational training courses. These scholarships are aimed at students aged 18–24 years from households whose income is less than three times the minimum wage. In April 2020, the scholarship was USD 26.60 per month and was paid for a maximum of 10 months during the school year. The amount accrued for this programme was 11 per cent of public education spending in 2016. In 2019, 640,000 scholarships were awarded, covering 4.47 per cent of the school-age population. Progresar has funding from the World Bank for four years (2019–2023) for programme administration and evaluation (USD 290 million).
Scholarships to support schooling: These are annual scholarships for specific groups, such as children of war veterans, students in conflict with the law, indigenous students or students who receive presidential sponsorship.
Universal Child Allowance: This is a conditional cash transfer granted to vulnerable families for each child under 18 years of age (up to five children). Eighty per cent of the transfer is received monthly (USD 37.50) and the remaining 20 per cent (USD 9.40) is paid annually once the recipients demonstrate that they have met the requirements (school attendance and corresponding medical visits). In 2016, programme expenditure was 0.61 per cent of gross domestic product, covering 9 per cent of the total population. The Universal Child Allowance receives funding from the World Bank, which amounted to USD 1.5 billion between 2016 and 2020.
Annual School Aid: A transfer of USD 39.50 for parents of school-age children who can present a certificate of school attendance. It is aimed at recipients of the Universal Child Allowance and the Family Child Allowance.