LFMI: Education funding problems in Lithuania: too much money is spent on infrastructure

Classrooms in Lithuanian schools empty faster than municipalities react to these demographic changes. In some schools one pupil gets as much as 80 square meters of educational space. The maintenance of such gigantic facilities requires huge expenses. Expenditure per pupil thus differs more than three times among municipalities.

Analysis by the Lithuanian Free Market Institute shows that about 20 mln. EUR could be saved if educational infrastructure were optimized. More funding could then be channelled towards educational activities and even used to raise teachers’ salaries.

„If schools sold or rented redundant infrastructure, they would have more resources for textbooks, teachers’ qualification upgrading, or even salaries. For instance, Vilkaviškis could save 2,8 mln. EUR, and Joniškis up to 2,5 mln. EUR,” Aistė Čepukaitė of Lithuanian Free Market Institute says.

The amount of funding per pupil is the lowest in the biggest cities. However, huge differences exist even between municipalities of the same size. Neringa’s case is exceptional. The costs of educating one pupil (together with the cost of school infrastructure) was 5 099 EUR in 2014. In the Joniškis, Elektrėnai and Zarasai district municipalities they amounted to approx. 3 000 EUR. Meanwhile, the Kretinga, Visaginas and Raseiniai district municipalities spent only 1 800 EUR per pupil.

Full analysis „Educational Funding Gaps: Infrastructure Optimization Could Save Money“ in Lithuanian here.