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Drastic funding cuts for independent schools

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10:42 CET+01:00
The Swedish National Agency for Education's (Skolverket) new method for calculating funding for independent high schools (friskolor) means that the institutions risk losing millions of kronor every year.

“I had a bit of a shock when I saw the list. This was not a good way to start the new year,” Erik Drakenberg, head of Täby Enskilda high school, told Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Drakenberg has called upon Swedish education minister Jan Björklund to ensure that “this madness stops.”

“If there are problems that haven't anticipated, we'll look into after the holidays,”

Swedish state secretary Bertil Östberg told DN.

Skolverket's national cost list has previously been based on the actual costs for various high school programmes. But as of January 1st, the list will be based on an average of municipal budgets.

“At first I was entirely convinced that this is wrong, but it is a new way to calculate (costs),” Drakenberg told DN.

The budget for the media programme, for example, has been reduced from 98,000 kronor ($14,000) to 83,300 kronor ($11,650) per school year. But there are major differences in costs between different municipalities.

Björn Berglund, educational expert at Skolverket, told DN that the agency has compiled the list with the assistance of Statistics Sweden (SCB), but that it has not yet been analysed.

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