School grants (including salaries) are the main public funding mechanism from the State to public and subsidized private education providers. Education providers are then responsible for managing these financial resources. Municipal governments allocate resources from their often limited tax base to supplement school grants.
National financing formula for schools
The costs of education provision are adjusted to fit the population characteristics and meet the needs of students and schools (such as geographic location and rural area). The Subvención de Escolaridad (general school grant) is a total of the grant value per student (educational grant unit) multiplied by the average monthly attendance of students and an adjustment factor for the level and type of education. The general school grant accounts for 71 per cent of public education spending and other grants and subsidies account for 29 per cent.
Average monthly attendance is calculated by dividing daily attendance by the number of working days in the month. An average of the previous three months is used to determine the grant.
The adjustment factor takes into account the education level, grade level, programme type and type of education strand, as well as whether the school is full-time.
The School Inclusion Act No. 20.845 came into force in 2015 to eliminate the redistribution of funding to private subsidized schools. It aims to improve families’ school choice, independent of their ability to pay or other possible discriminatory factors.
The Preferential School Subsidy Act No. 20.248 (2008) aims to guarantee education for students from homes where the socioeconomic situation may hinder their access to education. The Preferential School Subsidy allocates additional resources to schools based on the number of students in vulnerable situations.
Priority students: Students from homes where the socioeconomic situation may hinder their progression through the education system.
Preferred students: Students who are not classified as priority students but whose families belong to the most vulnerable 80 per cent of the population (i.e. the third and fourth quintile for income distribution), according to the current social characterization instrument (Social Household Registry). Schools will receive 50 per cent of the Preferential School Subsidy on their behalf.
The School Integration Programme, Decree No. 170 (2009) currently governs the requirements for educational establishments that want to provide a school integration programme. This regulation specifies which professionals are competent to carry out special educational needs (SEN) assessments for students entering the programme and the diagnostic procedures to be used. Schools receive a higher general school grant for each student with SEN and a distinction is made between permanent and transitional needs.
School Integration Programme grant: The State gives the governor of each educational institution a Special Education Grant for each student with SEN. This grant is approximately three times the general grant and the amount of the mainstream grant.
School Integration Programme resources are for the planning, implementation and evaluation of the programme, including: hiring human resources; carrying out coordination, collaborative work and evaluations; training and development; and providing educational media and materials.
There is a clear effort to allocate resources to the most vulnerable students through programmes such as the Preferential School Subsidy, the School Integration Programme and the Intercultural Bilingual Education Programme.
Students with disabilities
The Special Differential Grant is intended for students with a visual impairment, hearing impairment, severe intellectual disability, multiple disabilities or who are deafblind and who, because of their educational needs, must be educated in classes of no more than eight students. Order No. 05/1363 of November 2018 provides for the increase of the Special Differential Grant. During 2018, 10,134 students in 346 special education institutions benefited from the increased special grant.
The School Feeding Programme provides daily food services (breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner as appropriate) to vulnerable students in municipal and subsidized private educational institutions in Chile, at the nursery (pre-primary and primary), primary, secondary and adult levels. Financing for the School Feeding Programme (which benefits just over 182,000 children) increased by CLP 1.78 billion in 2019, i.e. by 2.8 per cent (equivalent to 5,000 children).
The Scholarship of the President of the Republic is for students who show outstanding academic achievement in upper secondary education. It is worth 0.62 monthly tax units (approx. USD 42) per month for 10 months. The Bicentennial Scholarship funded 35,288 recipients at a cost of CLP 90.36 billion in 2016. The Juan Gómez Millas Scholarship funds higher education studies up to CLP 1.15 million per grant. It funded 68,084 recipients at a cost of CLP 75.41 billion in 2016. The New Millennium Scholarship financially supports vulnerable students in technical and vocational degrees. It funded 191,720 recipients at a cost of CLP 135.27 billion in 2016. The Academic Excellence Scholarship and the University Selection Test Score Scholarship funded 21,015 recipients at a cost of CLP 22.54 billion in 2016.
The Indigenous Scholarship for basic education and the Indigenous Scholarship for secondary education: CLP 98,000 per year (about USD 150) for basic education and CLP 203,000 per year (about USD 310) for upper secondary education.
Students from rural areas
The Territorial Integration Scholarship is for students who attend a technical vocational programme and pays up to 1.87 monthly tax units (about US$D125) per month for 10 months.
The Arica Polymetals Scholarships are aimed at upper secondary school students who are located in areas with polymetal mining.
The Security and Opportunities (SSyOO) subsystem (and the Ethical Family Income), which were first launched in 2013, consist of conditional and unconditional cash transfers that provide autonomous income for households living in extreme poverty. School attendance is a requirement of receiving the Ethical Family Income. In addition, from the fifth grade to the last year of secondary school, students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement are eligible to receive the academic achievement bonus. In 2017, the programme spent USD 70 million, accounting for 0.03 per cent of gross domestic product. More than 190,000 households were covered and 620,000 people (3.4 per cent of the population) benefited from the programme. In 2016, the Ethical Family Income was transformed into a new programme known as the Families Programme. Of the cash transfer programmes, three focus on education:
The School Attendance Bonus is for households with children aged 6–18 years who are enrolled in primary or middle school, and have a monthly class attendance rate of at least 85 per cent. It is paid for 24 months. In 2018 it was CLP 6,000 (USD 9.20) per month per eligible child.
The Fourth Grade Graduation Bonus is for members of SSyOO beneficiary households below the age of 24 years. The requirement is to earn a middle school certificate. The transfer is worth CLP 52,520 (value in 2018). The School Achievement Bonus is for members of SSyOO beneficiary households below the age of 24 years. The requirement is to earn a middle school certificate. The transfer is worth CLP 52,520 (value in 2018). Compliance with the requirements is monitored through the online platform known as the Sistema General de Información Estudiantil [General Student Information System – SIGE] and the Sistema de Información Familiar de Ingreso Ético [Ethical Family Income Information System – SIIEF].