Working at the local level – the school budget
The first point of engagement for school management committees and parent teacher associations and others working on education issues at the local level is likely to be with the school budget. By exploring issues around the school budget, groups can begin to build up a picture of what is possible to change and influence in education locally, what resources should be being received, and what the constraints are. This series of exercises and reflections is designed to build skills and understanding of the local school budget within the context of national and regional power relations, priorities and preferences, as well as international influences and potential constraints. While the focus is exclusively on the school budget many of the ideas contained here can be used to look at other budgets – whether at local level (for example local government budgets, district education office budget, NGO budgets) or nationally.
The question of budgets may arise naturally through analysis of another education issue, for example the shortage of physical resources such as classrooms, textbooks, sanitation facilities or teachers. Analysis of allocation in the budget can be a useful way to look at why these resources are lacking, and whether there are other ways that the budget should be prioritised.
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