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Challenging fundraising, challenging inequity: Contextual constraints on advocacy groups’ policy influence

Challenging fundraising, challenging inequity: Contextual constraints on advocacy groups’ policy influence

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Title: Challenging fundraising, challenging inequity: Contextual constraints on advocacy groups’ policy influence
Author: Winton, Sue
Abstract: School fundraising is known to reproduce inequities in schools, yet
it remains common practice in Ontario, Canada; findings from a
critical policy analysis of an advocacy group’s efforts to change
fundraising policy help explain why this is the case. Adopting a
discursive understanding of policy, the study used rhetorical analysis
to identify how the group has engaged in a decades-long
struggle over the meaning of fundraising policy. The findings of
the rhetorical analysis were examined in light of an historical
narrative of Ontario’s social context to understand how the policy’s
contexts have constrained the group’s influence. The study’s
findings demonstrate that challenging school fundraising by defining
the policy as a problem of equity is not strong enough to
overcome neoliberalism’s pressure on parents to provide their
children with educational advantages, a trend toward privatization
in public education, neoconservative interests in reduced government
spending, Canadians’ belief in meritocracy, and historical
fundraising practices and dominant meanings. Further, the continuance
of school fundraising even after Ontario’s government
introduced policy that explicitly addressed the group’s concerns
about equity and aimed to limit the practice challenges traditional
notional of group influence and success in policy processes.
Sponsor: SSHRC
Subject: fundraising; critical policy analysis; advocacy
Type: Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/35715
Citation: Critical Studies in Education, 59(1), 54-73.
Date: 2018

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