13: Contrasting Trends of Low-Fee Private Schools in the Dominican Republic and Honduras: Dialectical Relationships and the Ethos of Privatization

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When compared to other world regions, there is very little research on how the trend of ‘low-fee private schools’ (LFPSs) has shaped educational provision in Central America and the Latin Caribbean. Arguably, the region is ripe for LFPS expansion, given that universal access to basic public education is still a major challenge for many countries and that government inaction provides an opportunity for private involvement in education. This chapter responds to this gap by explaining and comparing LFPS trends in Honduras and the Dominican Republic, and by situating these changing trends within the larger and deeper conditions and characteristics of these two contexts, which, as we will show, are witnessing both new and previously unacknowledged forms of privatization as opportunities emerge at the intersection of global and local constraints. In concluding, we suggest that more research is needed that attends to larger political-economic constraints, dialectical relationships, and what we label the ‘ethos of privatization’. Research will help to shed light on – and to problematize – the often simplistic assumptions and concepts that are employed to make sense of global-local dynamics in education policy, both in the so-called Global South and the Global North.

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