Fundeb, colonialism and technocracy

Image: João Nitsche


The Government cannot, and even if it could, it should not stipend private education, which is a profit agency or a privatist education


We hoped, with Freirean hope, that the Brazilian Public School would make its great leap towards equity and social quality with the new Fundeb. We still run the risk of not this time, because the Federal Chamber is our Achilles heel. Who knows, maybe the Brazilian people will rethink their history, be encouraged by their rich culture and change everything in 2022! That painful voice of Florestan Fernandes, centenary in this 2020, has reason to resonate and echo again and again. As with Law 4024/1961, which established the Guidelines and Bases of National Education at the time pro-civil-military coup, the colonial-imperial and conformist spirit of significant sectors of Brazil returned to its normal, although under the pandemic. What can be seen is that Fundeb's resources can be spread here, there and there, to Greeks and Trojans. This was the reason for Florestan's toughest speeches in those years. It is worth quoting one passage among many:

Well then, the State, which cannot meet the needs of free public schools, which it founded and maintains, finds itself in the contingency of being converted into Maecenas of the lay or religious private school, which must live on its own income! It is no longer a question of simple paradoxes: we are facing a criminal assault on the nation's treasury, which should be repelled with indignation by the representatives of the people in the Chamber of Deputies. It has been said that the government grants few resources to private schools, that public education is more costly for official coffers and that the proposed measures are democratic because they would favor equality of educational opportunities. All these assertions and others of the same kind are sophistic. The Government cannot, and even if it could, it should not stipend private education, which is an agency of profit or of privatist education. It is only responsible for creating public schools at all levels of education, as well as in all regions of the country (Fernandes, Educação e Sociedade no Brasil, 1966, p. 417).

At that moment, as is known, Florestan was leading the fight in defense of public schools in the country. And his text-speech (I quote the speech because I deprived of Florestan's friendship and learned a lot in conversations with him) is very current. In the country that strives to make changes so as not to change anything in power and command relations, which is ours, many apparently ancient speeches and writings are very current.

The same public school, which needs a revolution and not a little reform, if the Chamber fails again, it will not be able to fulfill its transforming mission, especially in the consolidation of universalized integral education, in the deep and continuous preparation of teachers, in the collective and continuous construction of full curricula and in retribution through teaching salaries equal to, for example, prosecutors, judges and similar professionals. Why not?

Florestan is right: it is a sophistry to say that public schools are not good and should turn their attention to private ones. It is also a fallacy to equate the private with the public in any of its angles of comparison and it is a fallacy to say that the private school will work alongside the public one. Because when public education needs to break the powers that bind, control and prevent intelligent autonomous actions, how will what is private and confessional behave, with its directions, creeds, dogmas and interests? If the State is secular, its resources maintain, fully and to the full extent of the quality of services, secularism. Simple. Why so many sophisms in our history to share public money?

Senate and Chamber need to debate with due depth the establishment in a short time of integral education (no two shifts, but really integral!), deal with the decent and high salary of the entire national teaching profession (superior to that of the entire private school), revolutionize the educational community in all corners of the country in its curriculum construction, including new support technologies and carry out, once and for all, the implementation of the continuing education of male and female educators, written by the National Council of Education several years ago after seminars, consultations and debates in the various regions of the country. Everything that is urgent for changes in Brazilian basic education has a price and the old reasoning, already made on the occasion of LDB 1961, that is, sharing resources with everyone, a little for each one, can no longer be used. This is the big mistake! A common reasoning, although clearly colonizing and colonized. Another sophistry. Intelligences are colonized, even with rare good intentions. It is necessary for male and female deputies to know that schools in forests, riverside areas, quilombolas, nomadic groups, peripheries, special areas and other areas will remain as they have been, unable to educate for citizenship and universal rights. And we, like Florestan, demand the opposite of that.

The Senate deserves praise for the attitude taken towards Fundeb. Who knows, maybe we will still overcome serious problems in the system of popular representation in Brazil: it is riddled with commitments and interests that are not, radically, public, but private and privatist. The large amount of votes that representatives receive at the ballot box is public, but mediations and political relationships are private and survive on the merits of interest myths. Processes and inquiries in bulk indicate this universe of simulations and simulacra, true even if justice is not done at the end of these legal acts. Furthermore, as I learned when, in Israel, I interviewed intellectuals and writers about the relationship between the intelligentsia, social life and politics in the 1970s, social and political gifts and vocations are distributed very asymmetrically in society, thus forming the vocational and action niches of intelligence, as well as their opposites and resulting problems.

Elected representative would have to be special in his radical alignment with the needs and desires of the people of the country who systematically suffer from neglect of health, go hungry, are violated daily in their cultural and symbolic activities and see the new generations lose their senses of the near future.

For this reason, along with the responsibilities of congressmen regarding the new Fundeb regulation, it is very important that social movements can carry out the next horizons of indispensable changes so that we can smile again with a smile full of new meanings and not just to please.


On the day that the state secretaries of education in Brazil and the public prosecutor declared unnecessary, unjustifiable and even unconstitutional the entry of tortoises and privatist benefits in the Federal Chamber[I], new sophisms have emerged in well-written texts and by authorities in the educational field, certainly in favor of withdrawing almost 13 billion reais from Fundeb to private schools, which are also responsible for nominating confessional, community and philanthropic schools.

Now, the Consed and Ministry documents respond to one by one of the privatist arguments (if this word is not used, it is sophistry, already characterized by Florestan), as we have them in the article called “New Fundeb makes public education more plural”, by Regina Esteves, Adriano Naves de Brito and Fernando Schüler (Folha de São Paulo, 14.12.2020/4/XNUMX, BXNUMX).

However, it is worth elaborating a little further. From Florestan's work in 1961, the only argument that underwent changes was the expansion of the network across Brazilian territory, which allows combining arguments from Consed and the brilliant sociologist. Because the school network has gone to the limits, it just needs to achieve full social quality, which will happen by itself in the context of the State, which is all of us, including the third sector, made up of people and work processes. However, they are different networks and were implemented differently, as is evident the private control of the S system and, likewise, of the schools that profess a certain faith. The right reserved to all private sectors to build school networks must not be lacking for the State, its laws and norms. Precisely because the public network is astonishing and diverse, all the resources do not leave any surplus in favor of the points already raised in this article, precisely in the fourth paragraph. Repeat: integral education (full curricula) full-time, high-level (and culturally diverse) training for teachers, increasing updating in the power and use of technologies and valuing the teaching profession, which will be on a par with the professions that are justly valued today . Therefore, all Fundeb money will be needed and must grow annually to guarantee this quality transformation. There will not be a penny left to share (in the old way) what is not divisible. It is a totality in itself, in its time and in its historical turn.

Any inference referring to the constitutional text, which is expressed with the "may be directed" (public resources to the private sectors) will receive, this time, the good answer: it can but it should not at this point in history, after the atrocious suffering of Brazilian public education , in fact divided, fragmented, crumbled in its resources a long time ago. Consed and Juristas lend the contemporary hand that Florestan needed in the libels of the 1960s, as well as in his constituent struggle of 1988.

All other points in the text are answered in combination of the writings of the leader of Brazilian sociology and today's support. For those who have forgotten Florestan, it is about that poor boy who, due to his intelligence and effort, redirects the field of studies of society in Brazil and in Brazil, through the work of empirical-theoretical genius. To all this he added the love of public education, which also brought him suffering and persecution, but which he maintained until the last day of his life. Who does not know the texts of the Public School Defense Campaign? In short, it will do little good to stick the nickname of Marxist, communist or any other on the forehead of the extraordinary man. ista, because we are already tired of these nonsense that only served as a vault for smaller actions and little citizenship on the part of the nickname stickers.

The last statements have nothing to do with the text published in the daily newspaper. The defense of the private and its variants can be done; it is enough that we are guaranteed for the opposition up to the limit of 100% of its meanings. This is the case of this one, which already reveals a major problem in the title, which deals with “more plural” education. Plural, but not chaotic, is the nature and cultural construction of the country. Chaotic is the government and certain moments of popular representations. While plural, the educational system needs a radicalized course, economically and politically, so that plurality does not become a bit of everything to make a general jam. Plural investment is one that focuses on the public plural to achieve the major objectives already set at the beginning of this text and repeated. Not an unnecessarily fragmented plural distributed like Florestan's Maecenas in the name of supposedly egalitarian arguments. Why share it for everyone if we have a continental and public network? It is up to the Brazilian State, yes, the obligation, in the first place, to make this network the home of educational quality, in a clear and undisguised way. So deeply that it moves the Brazilian HDI many points ahead. And if someone says that there is no critical mass for this, they lie! Either you speak untruth or you haven't researched how Brazilian public school educators are studying, doing master's and doctorate degrees. There is precisely a lack of large investments to enhance these professionals, from which, and with community participation, the other objectives will be achieved.


It is difficult to step away from the debate in misguided times and situations. There seems to be a demigod who erases history every day or systematically tries to cloud the senses in order to make accumulations unfeasible, symbolic constructions that guarantee the value of education as a systematizing operation of culture, or even the construct of its most beautiful values.

It would be desirable for us to already have established that the defects of educational operations do not necessarily mean that they are strictly linked to the laws and norms of their induction. The reading of the text written by Maria Helena Guimarães de Castro, Rafael Lucchesi and Rossieli Soares (Fundeb is a job opportunity for young people, Folha de São Paulo, 06.12.2020, A3) suggests two questioning fronts: either the text is incomplete in the its mister, due to the number of characters required by the daily newspaper or the authorities who wrote it, surrender to technocracy. If the first front is worth it, apologies for the sequel. If not, the debate is justified. To see.

It should be noted that technocracy, here, is thought along with the text by Durmeval T. Mendes, on page 12 of the beautiful book Philosophy of Brazilian Education, 2nd ed., 1985, coordinated by him. Quote: “Another type of intellectuals are the technocrats, articulating power and knowledge, and replacing the understanding of the totality through reflective and operative logic by a linear and merely technical logic”.

The quoted text has the same venial sin as the article already analyzed. In other words, the entire set of paragraphs up to the treatment of Fundeb regulation by law 4372/2020 is a mockery of the idea of ​​a new model, constituted by the High School Reform, Law 13.415, of February 2017, signed by Michel Temer and Mendonça Filho. In fact, the text rushes to get to the main point, that is, in the regulation that provides the panacea-word partnerships, which Florestan Fernandes, if alive today, would call benefits from the public to the private. It is interesting to say, in the text, that private capital has acquired great competence and that partners, the State and, for example, Sistema S and other organizations, would allow the “reduction of investment in the infrastructure necessary for the development of competences that meet the diversity of expectations of the market in the professionalization of students”. This is followed by an invitation to partnerships, which is very welcome.

Let's work in parts. The first question is: which model derives from a poorly initiated and poorly debated law? In addition, what is read in the legal text is a language exercise on the curricular phenomenon that should actually be initiated by states and municipalities in this pandemic year. Linguistic and humanities knowledge suggest that models and paradigms are conceptual formulations resulting from many operations of study, research, experimentation, time-spatial accumulation and symbolic construction. The language of President Temer's law, which zigzags the LDB and produces a design that is only understandable to those who are familiar with the National Curricular Guidelines of the CNE, triggers the expectation of investment, extends the training time, which is good, and suggests choices for the young student. Alongside the four traditional axes of itineraries, rooted in the BNCC, there is that of technical and professional training, on which the law is schematic. In fact, the legal text reads: V technical and professional training. Worse, not only does it lack the character of a model, or paradigm, but the linguistic formulation of the law13.415 places in the arms of the state education systems the great weight of preliminary and sequential realizations, which creates a diffusion and an initiation process that eliminate , at once, the idea of ​​a model. Article 12 of the law shows the movement of the years in which the experience begins and some necessary mediations, such as the approval of the BNCC do Ensino Médio, 2018.

A word about LDB's three zigzag stitches. There is nothing to mention about accumulation, as it is about to begin and the systems will have to respond to young people for their precariousness, for the unique school in the small town or in the hinterland, as well as for the schools traditionally overlooked and affectionately included by the National Curriculum Guidelines for Education Básica, 2010, that is, those located in the worlds of the forest, the shores, rivers, quilombos, cerrados, nomadism. We will return to them in the next argument.

So, why does the text run so eagerly to deal with the regulation of Fundeb and the relations between the public and the private, through the stipend (see Florestan, front page) of the Brazilian State? Because it is a text that does not reach the feet (character limitation?) of the CNE Guidelines for Technical Professional Education of Middle Level, according to Opinion 11, of 2012, reported by Adeum Sauer, Francisco Cordão, José F. de Lima e and Mozart Neves Ramos. Evidently, the law signed by Mr. Temer shifts and suggests new deliveries, consistent with the time of preparation of the BNCC, but history cannot be erased or obscured. In the guidelines, there are meanings of work, data on the crisis of work and jobs, an intelligent and critical attitude towards technological processes, a study of comprehensiveness in carrying out training courses and reflections on the growth of young students as subjects of rights (in terms of the ECA and the Youth Statutes). On the contrary, the language of the introductory paragraphs to panacea partnerships sees a young person requiring substantial effort to get a job. I suppose there was no room for more characters that would help the three authorities to express what they know well, the CNE Guidelines, without which President Temer's law is just a scheme, which was born out of Mendonça Filho's amazement at the massive examinations nationals and internationals. Therefore, a bad birth, made worse by the lack of what the CNE did well: consulting, debating, sowing, collecting studies and reflections, living different thoughts and balancing diversity. Furthermore, the idea of ​​inserting young people into the flexible productive world (flexibility can also be an occupational disgrace) is an unfair act in the face of curious and intelligent youth. Very little for so much culture and for the necessary arrival at humanism that education brings. With a critical spirit, a condition for autonomy and freedom.

A few days ago, when the Federal Chamber approved the application of almost 13 billion (a published estimate) to the private field, Mrs. Maria Helena, one of the signatories of the text, was interviewed and seemed (was I mistaken?) upset with the act of popular representatives. Well, judging by the commitments and interests of those gentlemen and ladies of parliament, they couldn't do anything different. But they should! Well, the supposed opposition (I must have been mistaken) makes sense, although it sounds like opposition, in the partnerships that are so welcome in this three-way text. Since partnership means investment in many ways, it is a consequence, isn't it? Desires come true, even more so in a society that minimizes what is public, although without putting anything in its place. The fact is that such partnerships, or blessings in Florestan's texts, were harassed by him in the struggle to defend public schools in the 1960s. Parliament could not contemplate only the place suggested by Mr. Rossieli, Mr. Lucchesi and Mrs. Helena. He opened more. A new attitude is expected from the education authorities.

I still think that educators, given very limited space to deal with the most complex of social values, education, should deny their writing so as not to get entangled in the discursive vine.

Strictly speaking, the text highlighted above, which deals with partnerships stipulated by the public purse and defended by the three creators of the text, although it is well written and uses current words in the field of technocracy and common sense, can also be analyzed as a crime of against education or a crime against underprivileged people in Brazilian society. When we, Florestan's disciples, do not give up Fundeb's resources except for public education, we can read in the interstices of the cited speech ipsis litteris that in the set of 13 billion, the schools of the nomadic groups, of the spaces of the forests, may continue to suffer exclusions , the riverside people, the quilombolas. I am radicalizing, as befits those who think of Florestan in defense of the public, but in fact, not a comma less is allowed, because this country no longer has excuses to continue to supposedly, do big changes and yet leave power relations intact, as before and before.

Dear writers, Dear writer. We are demanding, in terms of what we have learned in decades of educational work, that the best science, the best technology, the best working instruments and the best educators be widely financed in the country's public schools, with emphasis on the quilombolas, adapted to the nomadic world, in the riverside spaces, in inclusive special education, in the fishing regions on the shores, in the deep peripheries, in the interior of the forests and cerrados. Therefore, there will be no money to stipend the private school, even though it is also philanthropic, community and confessional.

Florestan suffered a lot from the fight, more than his contemporaries. On his centenary, he deserves the victory, which is not his but exclusively public education's. We may lose, but, as Drummond said, there is a little bit of everything. Let the strength of the voice that echoes and resounds remain. But public education, radically public, needs to win this battle. You've already lost a lot.

*Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP.



[I] Jabutis and benesses are terms used by this author and not in the published documents.

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