It is a lie that church schools get more money and a student in a church school gets four times as much money

It is a lie that church schools get more money and a student in a church school gets four times as much money

As the school year approaches and the last third of the summer follows, the pseudo-news about Lake Balaton is beginning to be replaced by the pseudo-news about education, more and more people are picking up and sharing the bullshit published about 3 years ago by the yard / 444 / index axis, and which has since been shared by deceived faithful left-liberal readers and the pseudo-leftist propaganda media.

“It’s discrimination to get four times as much money to educate a child in a church school,” writes the lettering in a huge letter in the title of the yardstick. Many people won’t even read the full article, but those who do read it won’t be smarter either.

What is it about? Snatched numbers as always. Let's see the facts!
Editor: György Asztalos pedagogical expert

If I type "church school funding" into Google's search engine, we'll see articles that make no claims:

"Is a child worth three times as much if he goes to church?" (HVG 16 May 2017)

“The government spends four times more on students in church schools than on public students.” (Index 1/8/2019 1, 1)

"Currently, four times as much money is spent on the education of a student studying in a church school: in public schools this amount is 80 thousand, while in church institutions it is 320 thousand forints." (Mérce Nov. 12, 2019)

Unfortunately, these absurd claims are based on the studies of some researchers.

Which is also unfortunate that many people refer to this data in their lectures, in their articles. Eg Gábor Kertesi: “state budget support per student is several times higher than that of public schools” 3

In what follows, I will look at where the data that HVG and Index and several other forums take over come from.

I accept as authentic source work:

The work entitled Indicator System of Public Education 2019 4, prepared by the Institute of Economics with the support of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the European Commission. (Hereinafter referred to as source work)

The slippage is mainly due to arbitrarily highlighting a column from budget lines where churches spend more on a student than the state and silencing those where the reverse is the case!

In reality, according to my source work, only material expenditures are where churches are doing better overall. This, in turn, is offset by the “other expenditure” item, which in turn is higher in public institutions.

The following graph shows the budget for each type of institution, broken down into five items:

The graphs show that, overall, of the church's educational institutions, primary schools and grammar schools perform better, and kindergartens, vocational high schools, and vocational secondary schools perform worse than state institutions.

The differences may be due to the different proportions of small schools and six- and eight-grade grammar schools in the maintainers.

It is often accused that churches also make money for education from their own resources. Here is a quote from my source on the extent of this:

“For non-public schools, only the amount of central budget support is included in this expenditure, not additional expenditure financed by school maintainers from other sources. Therefore, including non-government expenditure, the expenditure figures would be slightly higher, but this is hardly a difference of more than a few hundred percent. ” Page 56

Church compensation is also often misunderstood. For example, how much the church and the state spent on a child in 2018 is calculated, but the difference is accounted for in the following year.

Let's look at the link I found several times and its consequences:

This graph was created by Kriszta Ercse using 6 data from Romhányi and published in 7 study volumes of “My Sin” with the following commentary:

“It is clear that in terms of funding, the state clearly favors church schools over both civic maintainers and its own schools. It provides much worse financial conditions for public schools ”(8 Ibid. P. 183).

Kriszta Ercse uses the already mentioned HVG article 9 as source work, of which e.g. it is clear that there is no difference in the wage cost of the largest item. Although this statement is based on My guilt. it is also included in the study volume, yet visually only the material costs are shown.

Such and similar graphs may have led to the abovementioned absurd conclusions and statements.10

The graph shows that the amount received for material expenses of church schools in 2017 was 3.7 times as much as in the state.

Here, although Ercse does not use the same source work as in the present study, it is still objectionable that he only highlights the column of material expenditures. (This may give rise to an erroneous generalization.)

If I also highlight primary schools and grammar schools, where material expenses are significantly higher than in the state, we get the following table according to my source work:

In primary schools, 2.3 times and in grammar schools 2.4 times, money is spent on material expenses in favor of church schools.

If we accept that it is not the data calculated by the Academy, but the data of Romhányi that is accurate, the problem remains as to why the “other expenditure” is omitted from the five items?

If we looked at the “other item”, we would get the following graph:

If we generalized according to this theorem, we could say - taking into account primary school data - that public schools make 3.5 times as much money.

Not the same items end up in different pockets in the state, respectively. at church schools. Overall, after all, there is no significant difference.

In the following, I present another study where there is no excuse for the author to use a different source work than the present study:

Kriszta Ercse - Péter Radó: "Privatization in Hungarian public education and its effects." 11

The following tables are from this study:

According to my source work (only for primary school):

The graph of this study was made using an "abstract" of these data:

Here it is clear that the author highlights the first three items from the five budget lines (13 rounded to the nearest whole number)
According to my source work, the church manages 1.08 times as much money, but according to the truncated data, 1.23 times as much, which is a big difference! (14 Here we use the 2016 data of the Public Education Indicator System)

Here is an example of an arbitrary grouping of statistical data. For example, the “other” item was omitted from the budget, which is HUF 114,000 in the state primary school and only HUF 22,000 in the church.

It is certainly possible to argue about who calculates how, but it is already difficult to draw professional conclusions from a few points in a budget.

Greater professional fairness would perhaps prevent such absurd claims that churches receive four times as much money for a child as state ones, as this does not strengthen dialogue but the emergence of hostility.


György Asztalos
pedagogical expert
Institute of Lutheran Pedagogy


Tags: Education