Educational development, prioritized in the report to the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, received a 3.14 trillion yuan ($475.48 billion) investment last year, a 7.44-percent year-on-year growth. The big financial boost has greatly supported key educational fields and helped lead to a more equitable distribution of educational funds in many regions.
Funding was focused on compulsory education, central and west regions, teaching staff wages, and financial aid to students.
Under the principles of preserving educational foundations, ensuring that no basic educational needs go unmet, strengthening areas of weakness, and promoting educational equity, the central and regional authorities exerted efforts to extend financial educational funds far and wide.
Beijing’s enforcement of last year’s financial budgets ensured subsidies for increasing enrollment in preschool education and funds for tuition. Meanwhile, coverage of premium educational resources was extended to more primary and middle schools.
Increasing premium educational supplies, optimizing allocation of education funds, and expanding fundamental subsidies are high on the agenda for some regional authorities. Related statistics showed that Beijing increased resource supplies for compulsory education; Sichuan province pushed forward improvements in vocational schools’ operation conditions, and Hunan province fully funded the implementation of a robust nutrition improvement project for rural compulsory education students in 51 impoverished counties.
The 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) for education development issued by the State Council ensured that fiscal expenditures on education is no less than 4 percent of GDP, and demanded a more rational distribution in the utilization of educational funds.
Aside from a steady growth in fiscal expenditures on education and an investment in educational facilities, there should be a considerable reduction in administrative costs and a further investment in faculty resources, curriculum, and campus culture, said Chu Zhaohui, a researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences. He also proposed financial support for nongovernmental compulsory schools.