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Rental Shift Doesn't Ease School Burdens

New plans don't go far enough to fix educational inequalities.

By Zhang Qingchen Updated Jul.21

The Guangzhou government has issued a new plan that grant the renters the same access to local services as homeowners, including offering their children places in nearby schools. But some media expressed concerns, stating the plan is not new and would do little to fix inequalities. 

Some optimists saw it as the right step forward. Huang Tao, the manager of a local real estate agency, noted that it could shift housing demand and help ease the ridiculous prices in catchment areas. But others noted that the plan still required residents to have the right local hukou (household registration), the main source of China's rural-urban discrepancies. China News Service noted that the plan would require spaces for rent in good school districts, but these are almost non-existent, and that rental prices are rising even as housing prices go down. 

A more effective technique, many experts noted, would be to rebalance education resources. As Caixin wrote, the impact of these plans will always remain limited while school districts remain unchanged and good schools scarce.