Public Management

Policies have considerable impact on education market

July 2, 2015

Because local education markets often lack the strongest market incentives, policy has a major impact on the functioning of these markets. Local education markets work in a very specific way, partly because schools do not get fewer pupils when the quality is below par and schools rarely or never go bankrupt.

Image: © Nationale Beeldbank

To help Secretary of State for Education Sander Dekker prepare a new policy, Professors Sietske Waslander and Edith Hooge from TIAS GovernanceLAB have carried out an international comparative study on the establishment of new schools in local education markets. Dekker sent the report by Waslander and Hooge to Parliament today.

Important factors in making education policy are: rules for the establishing and closing of schools; rules for and the financing of housing; whether the same or entirely different rules apply to new schools; and whether schools can select pupils directly or indirectly. It depends on the combination of all these factors which effects have “more room for new schools.”

Dekker advocates “more room for new schools.” Few new primary and secondary schools have been established in the Netherlands in recent years. If new schools do come into existence, this usually happens in new housing developments. Dekker wants to change the situation in order to better align "supply and demand".

The preliminary study by Waslander and Hooge is based on a wide range of scientific research and studied experiences with “friskolor” in Sweden, free schools in England, charter schools in Texas, and new schools in New Orleans after the devastation that Hurricane Katrina left behind. Despite the substantial differences, there are some lessons to be learned for the Netherlands. 

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Rapport Nieuwe toetreders in het onderwijs, Waslander & Hooge (2015, in Dutch)

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