Education Services in Chile

New policies were enacted as a result of these protests including: 1) A nation-wide voucher system, in which students of lower income could receive funding to attend subvencionados and private schools, and 2) prohibiting any school from selecting which students could attend enroll based on income, interviews and test scores.  Schools now have to allow any student to enroll, regardless of these factors.

Because some of new laws were only enacted in the last two years, it is hard to say with certainty whether or not these measures have improved overall inequality. However, socioeconomic diversity in the student body (the mix of students from various economic backgrounds) has increased as a result of the change in laws. Many children have also opted to leave public (also called municipal) schools to go to private schools or subvencionados. Now the challenge lies in improving the overall quality of all Chilean schools so that students receive a quality education no matter what school they choose. The challenges faced by Chilean schools are very similar to those which we see in the United States. Although Chile and the U.S. are two distinct countries, and we cannot assume that what works (or does not work) well in one place would work in the other, there is much we can learn by analyzing the success and failures of the policies that have been tried in each.