Education Privatization: A Legal Critical Perspective

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Education Privatization: A Legal Critical Perspective
Stream: Educational Policy, Leadership, Management & Administration
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation
Yael Kafri, Tel Aviv University, Israel


The submitted paper offers a critical legal analysis to the political economy of educational privatization in Israel, compared with U.S and U.K counterexamples. The research has two missions. The first is to portray boundaries to the legitimacy of educational privatization from a legal perspective. The second is to clarify how different regulatory regimes facilitate and accelerate educational privatization on the one hand, while restraining it on the other, in a pincer movement.
The importance of the regulatory perception of educational privatization, especially the adjudicative, is immense. If we follow Levin and Belfield's definition (2002), "privatization" is the growth of the private possession over educational assets and services. Hence, privatization is perceived as the reduction of the State and LEAs. If we follow Lubienski (2005) and Ball (2007) up to Verger (2016), privatization blurs the public/private divide, cultivating educational quasi-markets on the State's outskirts and hence - expanding its involvement into the market. The issue of reduction v. expansion of the State and LEAs is crucial to the legal regime applied by the adjudication– that of the State, that of the market, or a mixed scheme. Economic utility, efficiency, strategic benefits to parties and socio-political (dis)empowerment, as well as commitment to equality or to personal autonomy and choice: we weight each of them differently if we demand State accountability, or if we believe it's a free market. Thus, legal analysis of privatization case-law contributes additional perspective to policy research and educational privatization theories.

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