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Inclusion Law: The key changes to come with the new legislation

This morning President Bachelet enacted the new legislation which will overhaul Chile’s education system and ensure that education is a social right accessible to every child.

The Inclusion Law modifies a series of education laws, including the General Education Law, the Subsidies Law, the Quality Assurance Law and the Preferential School Subsidy Law. These are the major changes introduced by the legislation enacted today.

“This law is a triumph not only for the Government; it is a triumph that was shaped by students, families and members of Congress. This achievement belongs to all of Chile,” stated President Michelle Bachelet.

Changes to the General Education Law

The Inclusion Law prohibits arbitrary discrimination and promotes inclusion and the principle of progressively making education free in private subsidized schools that receive permanent funding from the State.

The law establishes the rights of students to attend an educational establishment. Admissions processes must be transparent and schools are no longer allowed to request socioeconomic information from prospective students or information regarding the level of schooling, marital status or financial situation of the parents or guardians.

Amendment of the Subsidies Law

The Inclusion Law establishes that all funding received by the administration of a school must be used solely for educational purposes (as specified in the law) and prohibits related-party transactions.

The law also establishes new eligibility requirements for schools to receive subsidies. The administration of an educational establishment must be set up as a non-profit legal entity; it must own the building in which the school operates and it must have programs to support low-achieving students as well as programs to support inclusion to foster a positive school environment.

The law also introduces a new admissions process whereby the choice of school is decided by parents and guardians, rather than by schools.

Changes to the Quality Assurance Law

The Inclusion Law extends the powers of the Schools Superintendent’s Office. The Schools Superintendent’s office is now required to keep a register of schools’ bank records as evidence that funding is being used for educational purposes.

Changes to the Preferential School Subsidy Law

The Inclusion Law creates a new preferential subsidy for students from the third and fourth income quintiles, equal to half of the amount currently paid to priority students in receipt of the Preferential School Subsidy. The Preferential School Subsidy will also be increased by 20%.

Implementation process for the Inclusion Law

The Inclusion Law will be phased in gradually to allow time for all of the regulations to be implemented effectively.

The timeline for the implementation of the new regulations will be staggered: 180 days after the publication of the law; on January 1, 2016; on March 1, 2016 and at the end of 2016.

Other details

  • The Inclusion Law introduces a compulsory support team for school administrators, which has already been working with the administrators of 1,650 schools throughout Chile.
  • 15 Education Ministry committees are working on the 26 regulations that are required to implement the new legislation.
  • Under the Inclusion Law, school administrators that are set up as nonprofit legal entities and that own the building in which the school operates will be eligible to apply to the Loan Guarantee Facility for Small Businesses, which guarantees loans to pay for useful or essential improvements to school buildings.
  • A new fund to recuperate and strengthen Public Education will be created, which will be determined as part of the Budget Law.

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