Contract schools, also called 'charter' schools in certain contexts, theses types of arrangements typically marry private management with public funding and ownership. Contract schools are therefore a form of hybrid collaboration between the state and the non-state sector. Importantly, specific characteristics of contract schools tend to vary depending on the context in which they operate.
For example, while both the US charter schools and the Colegios en Concesión (CEC) schools in Colombia are supported by public funds and not open to collective bargaining by teachers, charter schools in the US, unlike CEC schools, are responsible for finding their own students and may target students interested in non-standard education programmes (Bonilla-Angel, 2011). Similarly, in arrangements such as CEC schools in Colombia and charter school type models in Punjab and Sindh (under the Partnerships for Management umbrella), the government contracts the administration and day-to-day running of a school to a private entity. Other types of arrangements may also differ in specific ways depending on context.
Nevertheless, one key aspect that remains common across these arrangements is that the government contracts with private entities to undertake the operation of public schools on behalf of the state. According to Patrinos et al. (2009), a range of different services can be procured from the private sector. Governments can contract for inputs (such as teacher training, management, curriculum design), processes (managing and operating schools), outputs (providing education for specific students) or facilities (infrastructure and building maintenance), or both inputs and outputs that combine infrastructure provision with services such as operational or educational outputs (Patrinos et al. 2009)
Source: Aslam, M., Rawal, S., & Sahar, S. (2017). Public-Private Partnerships in Education in Developing Countries: A Rigorous Review of the Evidence. Ark Education Partnerships Group.