Private foundations in public secondary education in Uruguay

Cecilia Pereda


Foundations are one of the actors that currently participate with the State in public education in different countries. This article studies the participation of three foundations in public secondary education in Uruguay, a country with a high state presence in formal education. A conceptual framework is proposed that articulates approaches to educational privatizations (Ball & Junemann, 2012; Ball & Youdell, 2007; Bellei & Orellana, 2014; Verger & Bonal, 2012) and to welfare regimes (Adelantado, 1999; Esping Andersen, 1998; Razavi, 2007), from which three analytical dimensions emerge: strategic, spatial and relational. After interviewing some of their directors, reading different documents, and considering participant observations, this article examines the meaning of “public” in education according to the kind of work that these foundations are developing, the relationships they establish with companies, with social organizations, and with the State, the type of connections they promote with students and teachers, as well as the consequences of all the above. Results show diversity in business dependence as well as its integration with public education in Uruguay. They also highlight some tensions that the State must resolve so that the work of the foundations extends and does not hinder the promotion of common and collective values associated with the integration of all students to secondary education.


Public Education; Privatization; Foundation; Secondary Education; Uruguay


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