Stefan Löfven and Magdalena Andersson, Photo: Leif R Jansson/Scanpix.

Government blamed for school crisis

Sweden’s opposition Social Democrats have said the government’s policies led to the 36 schools run by the company JB Education going bankrupt this summer.

Writing in newspaper Dagens Nyheter Monday, Social Democrat Party leader Stefan Lövfen and economic spokesperson Magdalena Andersson call for municipalities to have more control over the establishment of the so-called free schools in their areas.

Free schools are private schools that are funded by taxpayers according to the number of students they attract. Many have been criticized for not meeting requirements for curriculum, libraries or physical education facilities.

In June the JB Education system declared bankruptcy, closing 36 schools. The closures affected 11,000 students.

There have been voices from the opposition to restrict or remove profit-taking among the free schools.

Social Democrat leader Lövfen says the current educational system “is like the wild west…we can’t have it like this.”

On Sunday, Swedish Education Minister Jan Björklund proposed that responsibility for schools be transferred from municipalities back to the state. In a speech in Gothenburg, Björklund, who is also leader of the Liberal Party, said the 1991 transfer of jurisdiction to municipalities has been a failure.

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