This volume discusses key aspects of the economics of the elementary education system in the poorer and educationally backward states of India, while also examining one high-achiever stateTamil Nadu. Providing the first state-by-state analysis of major cost and financing issues, the book is based on data gathered from one of the most comprehensive surveys conducted in recent times in these states, which was specifically commissioned for this book. The survey covered 120,000 households and a thousand schools spread over 91 districts in eight states.Written by leading educational economists, the original essays in this volume - analyse the major cost and financing issues in elementary schooling in seven of the eight states surveyedAssam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal; - identify recent initiatives made by the governments of these seven states; - systematically scrutinise the pattern of the public spending in elementary education; - examine enrolment in government schools and the quality of education that they impart; - study household expenditure on schoolingthe costs to parents of sending children to school; and - compare government schools with private schools, showing how the private sector has began to take over the what should be the responsibility of the government, particularly in the poorer states.

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