How School Finance Reforms Affect the Local Policy Landscape and Funding of Schools: A Case Study of the Transformation of the Swedish Model, 1989–1992


  • Jonathan Lilliedahl Örebro University



school finance, school vouchers, school buildings, educational policy, cultural policy


This article examines a specific localisation issue concerning a municipal comprehensive school in the city of Västerås, Sweden, that was brought about by two state reforms between 1989 and 1992: a) the decentralisation of the education system, and b) the introduction of school vouchers. The municipal school in question closed for the academic year 1991/1992, then re-emerged as an independent school one year later. My case study illustrates how, in historical perspective, financial reforms can affect the provision and funding of local schools in the political landscape of public–private partnerships. Documents from city archives and local newspaper accounts of the extensive debate form the basis of the analysis. A multiple streams framework is used to conceptualise the relationship between problems, policies, and politics. Policy entrepreneurs and time-specific windows of opportunities are identified as crucial to the historical understanding of how the multiple streams were coupled in the local policy landscape for the funding of schools.

Author Biography

Jonathan Lilliedahl, Örebro University

Associate Professor at the School of Music, Theatre, and Art, Örebro University, Sweden.