State aid makes school divide worse
Smaller Swedish municipalities have not been able to fully take advantage of state programs to improve the quality of public schools.
As a result, the gap has been growing between the best and worst-performing schools, according to a review compiled for internal use by the Swedish National Agency for Education.
The review revealed that large municipalities were much more likely to participate in state-sponsored programs, while smaller schools in rural areas opted out. Interviews with city officials, civil servants and school principals revealed that the biggest obstacle to participation in the state programs was the requirement that local authorities pay part of the cost, according to Swedish Radio News.
Some of the state sponsored programs aimed to encourage female students to study technology, improve the quality of mathematic instruction, and boost pre-school programs.