The 7th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Ottawa, Canada, from 21nd to 26th July 2015, adopts the addendum to section/paragraphs 2, 4 and 23, on the financing of education, of the Education Policy Paper, ‘Building the Future through Quality Education’, which was adopted by the EI 6th World Congress in 2011.
1. Public financing of education needs to be sufficient, predictable and sustainable to ensure the provision of quality education for all and the implementation and achievement of education development goals. States should take all necessary measures to ensure they have sufficient revenue to fund education. This includes closing tax havens, combatting corporate tax evasion, ensuring companies pay fair resource rents, and implementing financial transaction taxes both to limit financial speculation and to raise additional revenues.
2. The global commitment to education as a human right needs to be followed by a global commitment to financing education. EI considers it necessary to assess more accurately the financial needs in education, and for that reason, to identify the necessary percentage of GDP allocated to education in countries where the minimum allocation of 6% of GDP is not enough, based on appropriate methodology that takes into account the specific educational goals of each country, the evolution of the age pyramid, and other data, to ensure the desired quality of education.
3. In those countries where the specified amounts of allocating at least 6% of GDP to education are not feasible or do not provide sufficient resources for quality education for all, public spending should be supplemented by funding obtained externally for use in education. At least, 10% of global official development assistance should be directed towards educational development.
4. However, this should only be seen as a temporary solution. When a country is applying for external funds to finance the national education sector, local unions should demand that this strategy be temporary and that the government simultaneously increase the effort to find sustainable national solutions.
5. Supplementary funding from international and bilateral donors (including multilateral and bilateral agencies, and the private sector, including corporate, foundation and philanthropic contributions) must respect the right to free quality education for all citizens and residents of that country, and, the principles included in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, especially country ownership. In no way should such funding lead to privatisation and commercialisation of education, which EI strongly opposes.
6. All education in a country should be a public responsibility; that is, education should be publicly funded and regulated. Governments and public authorities, in cooperation with education unions and other civil society groups, should oversee the design and impact of education budgets against key indicators of equity in order to ensure that spending is progressive and that resources reach the most marginalised. Governments should support transparency and public scrutiny of education budgets, and enable civil society to track actual spending and analyse both budgeting and spending in order to assess the equitable distribution of financial resources.
7. Public financing should be designed to ensure that all citizens have equitable access to quality education that is fee-free at the point of delivery. Equitable access and completion of a full cycle of continuous fee-free quality education, including early childhood through to higher education, as well as adult education may require additional targeted public financing for the most disadvantaged.
8. Donor states must meet their commitment from the Monterrey Consensus to provide 0.7% of their Gross National Income to official development assistance. The international community should explore new mechanisms of educational and public funding, including a tax on cross-border currency transactions (like the Tobin Tax), or a global tax on wealth.