‘Tax revenues impact investment in education’, says specialist
25 January 2022
Victória Sales – from Cenarium Magazine
MANAUS – In the Legal Amazon, three out of four children live in places where the average investment in education is lower than the national average. Even with the considerable investment compared to the municipal GDP, it still does not supply the needs for education. The analysis was made through 2019 data on investment in education and the performance of national assessments with the Basic Education Development Index (IDEB) and the Socioeconomic Level Indicator (Inse).
In conversation with the CENARIUM reporting team, the finance director of the Union of Education Workers of the State of Amazonas (Sinteam), Cleber Ferreira, explains that the big difference in the inequality of education investments between regions is related to tax collection. “It’s obvious that big centers like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which have a larger population and an active trade, have higher tax revenues”, he said.
Cleber also explained that there is a constitutional provision for the linking of resources to the area of education, which determines that 25% of the collection in the State and in the municipality are destined to education, and 18% to the Union. The Fund for Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Valorization of Education Professionals (Fundeb), for example, aims precisely to try to balance these distortions”, he said.
“When you create a fund that allocates resources from these taxes and redistributes them based on the number of students, then this is the best mechanism that we currently have to try to reduce this social inequality. The new Fundeb even institutes that municipalities that have higher quality or are able to reduce this inequality more and more and receive more resources through the complementation of the new fund update, receive more resources through the complementation of the new fund”, explained the director.
During the study, it was noticed that no region invests more in education in comparison to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the Legal Amazon, which reaches 7.14% compared to 4.03% in other regions. The problem presents itself when the analysis is made with values that represent the school age of each student, which causes the region to be below in the ranking. In all, the investment per capita income is R$4,491.73, below the other regions and became the second worst in the country, which presented an income of R$5,050.90.
In the Northeast, according to the survey, is where the worst result is presented, having a percentage of 6.57% for education, but when dividing the resources per student, the value goes to R$ 3,977.66 for each student. According to the Ideb, the average of the municipalities that make up the Legal Amazon is 4.90 for the beginning of the year and 4.15 for the end. On the other hand, the national average is 5.87 and 4.69.
Even with the efforts of managers, it is possible to increase total spending on education, according to the more fragile socioeconomic picture being characterized by the number of young people, which makes it even more insufficient. According to the report, “they are already part of a worse socioeconomic reality and, instead of higher expenses to compensate the difference, they see their disadvantage increased by spending less than the national average”.