2018 Volume 85 Issue 2 Pages 162-174
This paper discusses the design of an educational finance system that supports new and diverse education suppliers. The focus is on the systems of finance and quality assurance, the latter of which includes accreditation, audit, and evaluation. A close relationship between the two systems is observed in analysis, which can be described by using two different models. One is a support and control method that allocates educational resources for controlling educational activities; the other is a checks-and-balances method that controls the freedom and accountability of teachers and schools. These models show that the systems of finance and quality assurance are mutually dependent, and that their relationship has the potential to construct a future framework of public education.
The allocation of educational resources based on a support and control method is observed in several foreign countries. For example, a strict external evaluation model for academies is utilized in England to ensure the educational quality represented by the test scores. Similarly, a strict input-control model for legislated alternative schools is adopted in South Korea, sometimes limiting the educational content. Elsewhere, a checks-and-balances model is utilized in the Netherlands, where the external evaluation system adopts various standards made by both external evaluators and teachers.
A system guaranteeing publicness and accepting diversity must ensure the education of children who cannot adjust to existing schools. First, this system calls for a checks-and-balances model in terms of quality assurance. Teachers should participate in the design of an evaluation system that assesses diverse aspects of education, in order to be sure that they will explore new educational methods and activities. Second, the system of fiscal allocation for new and diverse education suppliers needs to be a dual system separated from the existing public schools. In the new finance system, we calculate the allocation amount per child, and allocate it to each school per head based on the number of children. The system also needs to allow each school financial autonomy. These systems will permit us to secure the public nature of the new and diverse education suppliers.
In Japan, we secure the public nature of public education by operating the finance system based on standards for educational conditions. Though this system's advantages include a guaranteed stable budget and quality assurance, it is not highly compatible with the public nature. Therefore, a new system based on a new framework is clearly necessary. Though it is not so easy due to the path-sensitivity of existing systems, a drastic process is indispensable to change the idea of public nature. A simple but effective method is to verify the outcome of pilot programs.
If the above systems are accepted and new education suppliers expand to some extent, they may serve as references in the reformation of existing public schools. This may lead to a public educational system that creates new values.