Education is compulsory and free for 15 years (preschool to secondary level). The State provides teaching materials, educational infrastructure and maintenance. Public resources finance 86.7 per cent of the education system and the remaining 13.3 per cent is financed by private resources.
The State regulates educational institutions, partially finances schools run by churches (called fiscomisionales i.e. Church-State schools) and regulates the cost of private education provision. The Ministry of Public Education coordinates federal resources and contributions. Most resources are allocated as a percentage of the federal assignable taxes and the rest are set out annually in the Federal Expenditure Budget. The State delivers two types of resources to the states: participations (used according to the priorities of each state; in 2019 they constituted 60 per cent of the resources received by the states) and contributions (they have a specific purpose and in 2019 accounted for 40 per cent of the resources received by the states). There are three education contribution funds:
Fondo de Aportaciones para la Nómina Educativa y Gasto Operativo [Education Payroll and Operational Expenses Fund – FONE]: This is administered by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. It covers basic education expenses (teachers’ salaries and running costs). The allocation is based on the number of residents aged 5–14 years. In 2019, this fund was USD 2 billion (37.7 billion Mexican Pesos – MXN), i.e. 48 per cent of contributions. In 2016, it represented 1.79 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Fondo de Aportaciones Múltiples [Multiple Contributions Fund – FAM]: This fund is operated at the state level to finance the infrastructure of basic, secondary and higher education. Its annual budget is 0.82 per cent of State revenue. Forty-six per cent of this fund goes to school breakfasts, food support and social assistance. In 2016, this fund represented 0.06 per cent of GDP.
Fondo de Aportaciones para la Educación Tecnológica y de Adultos [Contribution Fund for Technological and Adult Education – FAETA]: This fund operates at the State level. It is defined annually and takes into account the literacy gap, among other criteria. In 2016, this fund represented 0.03 per cent of GDP.
In 2016, education spending in Mexico accounted for 4.91 per cent of GDP and 17.94 per cent of public spending (USD 50.6 billion). The total school-age population is 44.5 million. The approved budget for 2018 was USD 9.2 trillion (MXN 178.744 trillion) including 79.8 per cent for grants and other aid.
Programa para la Inclusión y Equidad Educativa [Programme for Inclusion and Equity in Education – PIEE]
This is a Ministry of Public Education federal subsidy transfer programme that is part of the Programa de la Reforma Educativa [Education Reform Programme]. It is aimed towards students in vulnerable situations: indigenous populations, migrants, secondary students who are learning remotely, and special education students in highly marginalized localities and with a high degree of lag in basic, secondary and higher education. Indigenous and migrant education receives 65 per cent of the resources allocated to the PIEE, while special education and remote-secondary education receive 35 per cent.
In 2016, 1.4 million indigenous, migrant and special education students, as well as secondary students who are learning remotely, benefited from the programme in 13,320 educational centres and 10.7 per cent of educational resources were spent on this programme.
These are implemented by the national welfare secretariat, which replaced the educational component of the Prospera conditional cash transfer programme in 2019. This nationwide scheme covers families with children and adolescents (0–15 years) living in areas with high rates of poverty and vulnerability. It is for students in areas with a predominantly indigenous or marginalized population, or where there is a high degree of violence, and who have a monthly income below the extreme poverty line. It is intended to enable such students to attend preschool, primary and secondary education. The monthly scholarship amount ranges from USD 40 (MXN 800) to USD 120 (MXN 2,400), and is paid fortnightly.
In 2019, its budget was USD 536 million (MXN 10.6 billion), i.e. 0.043 per cent of GDP, and it benefited 7.4 million students in 35.7 million households (27.25 per cent of the population).
Child Support Grant
This programme is provided by the Social Development Ministry and is aimed at lower-income households to assist parents with the costs of the basic needs of their child. To apply, the primary care giver must be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee, the child/children must been born after 31 December 1993, and not be in a care institution. Parents or caregivers should not earn more than ZAR 48 000 a year (US $ 2762) if single, or ZAR 96 000 (US$ 5525) for married couples. The child support grant is currently ZAR 440 (US$ 25) per month per child. Program expenditure was US$ 5.3 billion in 2012/2013 out of a social development budget of US$ 11.9 billion in 2009/2010 (corresponding to 45% of total welfare expenditure) and reached 10 million children in 2009/2010 (20% of the population for that year). While there is no condition related to education, the grant is said to have positive educational outcomes.