REICE 2016 - Volume 14, No 1
Municipalities and AEC: Trends of Decentralization in Educational Policy in Portugal

In Portugal, in the aftermath of the April 25th (1974) revolution, we witnessed the consolidation of deconcentrated power, in which municipalities began playing an important role in educational matters. This role was reinforced by the implementation of The Basic Education Curriculum Development Program (AEC) to support the concept of Full Time School in which municipalities take responsibility. In this article, we analyze the AEC program as a possible contribution to the development of decentralization, based in the municipality. In this context, we study the implementation of the program and the educational activity of the municipality, on the one hand, and we discuss the educational policies of decentralization and deconcentration in Portugal, after the April 25th (1974) revolution, on the other. Using a qualitative methodology with semi-structured interviews which were done in three adjacent municipalities, we developed an empirical study, from which it is possible to conclude that the relation between schools and municipalities appear to be clearly reinforced. However, school agents still acknowledge this program as an extra-schooling element, which reflects their reluctance and disagreement with regard to the actual decentralisation of competencies.

Key words
Decentralisation, Deconcentration, Municipalization, Enrichment activities curriculum.
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Castanheira, N., & Gonçalves, M. (2016). Os municípios e as AEC: tendências descentralizadoras da política educativa em Portugal. REICE. Revista Iberoamericana sobre Calidad, Eficacia y Cambio en Educación, 14(1), 65-81.
DOI: 10.15366/reice2016.14.1.005