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Educação & Realidade

Print version ISSN 0100-3143On-line version ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.43 no.1 Porto Alegre Jan./Mar. 2018  Epub Oct 05, 2017

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2175-623668702 

Other Themes

The Elaboration Process of Municipal Education Plans in the Greater São Paulo ABC Region

Paulo Sérgio GarciaI 

Nélio BizzoII 

IUniversidade Municipal de São Caetano do Sul (USCS), São Caetano do Sul/SP - Brazil

IIUniversidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo/SP - Brazil

Abstract:

This study analyzed the elaboration process of the Municipal Education Plans (PME) in Greater São Paulo ABC region (Brazil), placing the analysis in a broader framework to understand the influences made by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) movement and those practiced by the Catholic Church. A case study was used as a methodological approach. Results revealed the loosening in the drawing up of plans, the influence of the Church over the councilmen, inducing them to make alterations in final documents, ratifying the Church’s influence, which is historic in Brazil, and the education weakening regarding prejudice and discrimination, that are recognized demands of the LGBT movement. These results are important in order to provoke the debate in Education Departments and universities.

Keywords: Municipal Education Plan; Educational Policies; Greater São Paulo ABC

Introduction

The National Education Plan (known as PNE) aims to articulate efforts in a collaborative manner and, in this sense, to universalize the provision of compulsory K-12 Education (from 04 to 17 years), to raise the population schooling level and the literacy rate, to improve the quality of K-12 and Higher Education, to act to valorize education professionals and to reduce social inequalities, and increase the investments in the education field, among others.

The PNE, Law n. 13005 of 25 June 2014 (Brazil, 2014a), established the guidelines, goals (20) and strategies for an educational policy for ten years. It is a decennial plan for the Brazilian nation with responsibilities shared by the union, states, federal district and municipalities, with the aim of overcoming the discontinuity of public policies resulting from changes of political parties in power.

The PNE was established as a constitutional requirement - Constitutional Amendment n. 59/2009 (Brazil, 2009) and was considered the articulator of the National Education System, inducing, as a base document, the creation of state, district and municipal plans. According to the official document MEC/SASE (Brazil, 2014b, p. 5), the Amendment n. 59 has changed the condition of PNE “[...] that went from a transitional provision of the National Education Guidelines and Framework Law (Law n. 9394/1996) for a constitutional requirement with decennial periodicity, which means that the multi-annual plans should take it as reference”.

The PNE is characterized by an educational policy, marked by reflections, intentions and actions with the goal of responding to legitimate national demands. In this sense, short-, medium- and long-term strategies must be constructed. This is a plan, not a project or a set of isolated actions of educational systems; therefore, it should articulate the reality of the municipality, state and union.

Such a plan needs to encompass and articulate all administrative areas acting in the municipality and the state (state education network, private schools and universities, civil entities, among others). It should be associated with other plans such as the Municipality’s Master Plan and Plans for Sustainable Development. Such a situation aims to ensure the linkage and effectiveness of strategies and political actions, and of social, economic and cultural activities. At the same time, it seeks to make effective the social participation in order to ensure transparency and visibility of actions and, thereby, contribute to the democratization process of the decision-making system (Silva; Jaccoud; Beghin, 2005).

The PNE indicated that states and municipalities had a deadline (06/24/2015) to finalize their Municipal Education Plans (known as PME). The cities of the Greater São Paulo ABC began to draw up their documents in the first semester of 2015, each of them considering their own sociodemographic characteristics. This is a region with high social and economic conditions, which distinguishes it from other Brazilian areas.

The key objective of this study is to analyze the elaboration process of Municipal Education Plans (PME) of Greater São Paulo ABC region, placing this analysis in a wider frame to understand some influences carried out, especially by those who fought for the secularism of the plans, among them, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) movement and by the Catholic Church, which aimed to remove the terms gender ideology and diversity from final texts.

National Education Plan

The National Education Plan (PNE), as a philosophical and ideological idea, began with the so-called renovation movement in the 1920s and 1930s. This movement facilitated the early discussions and debates on the creation of a national education policy that would not be subject to the limitations of managements and governments. According to Didonet (2000), in 1932 a group of educators composed by the Brazilian intellectual elite published a manifesto for the population and government (Education Pioneers Manifesto), aiming to rebuild the education model through an education plan for the whole country.

According to the same author, the ideas contained in the document led to the inclusion of a specific article in the Brazilian 1934 Constitution. Such article, the 150, indicated that it would be the Union’s responsibility to draw up a plan for education on a national scale. This task was assigned to the National Council of Education (article 152), so that this body would organize the plan in the form of a law.

Despite the Constitutions of 1946, 1967 and 1969 signaled the need for a national plan, it was only in the 1960s, in 1962, that the first PNE was drawn up, created in the period when the first National Education Guidelines and Framework Law, known as LDBEN - Law n. 4024 (Brazil, 1961), was in place. Such document, however, was not proposed in the form of a Bill, but rather as an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Culture, with approval of the Federal Board of Education (Didonet, 2000).

This plan put together a set of quantitative and qualitative goals to be achieved in a period of eight years, suffering alterations, in 1965, with the introduction of decentralizing and stimulating norms for the draw up of state plans. In 1966, in accordance with Didonet (2000), the project was altered again, bringing important changes in the matter of federal resources distribution.

The 1988 Federal Constitution brought back the idea of a PNE. Article 214 made the PNE decennial and mandatory, highlighting collaborative linkages between federated entities in the organization of goals and strategies to, among other things, eradicate illiteracy and universalize school attendance, as well as improve the quality of education, the training for work and the humanistic, scientific and technological promotion of the country.

In the 1990s, LDBEN/96 established in articles 9 and 87, respectively, that it is up to the Union to draw up the National Education Plan in partnership and collaboration with States, Federal District and Municipalities.

The first PNE was approved in 2000 - Law n. 10172 (Brazil, 2001) and lasted until January 9, 2011, providing, among other things, the preparation of decennial plans of States, Federal District and Municipalities. Their objectives were linked to raising the population’s level of schooling, improvement of teaching quality, reduction of social inequalities and democratization of public education management, among others.

The Relationship of Catholic Church with Education

The relations between the Catholic Church and education have been the research subject of many researchers in Brazil (Romanelli, 1978; Cury, 1978; Schwartzman, 1986; Azzi, 1987; Marchi, 1989; Cunha, 2013). These studies, among other goals, seek to understand the processes and manners used by the Church to influence the educational field in different periods of the Brazilian history.

For a long time in the Brazilian history (Colony and Empire), education was under the aegis of the Catholic Church. However, in the 19th century there was a separation between Church and State, consolidated by the 1891 Republican Constitution. In this context, the Church has lost some privileges with the idea of laicization of teaching in public schools and removal of religious teaching from the curriculum, resulting in the reduction of influence, especially over the working classes (Marchi, 1989). Such situation, the loss of supremacy over education systems, kept for almost the entire colonial and monarchical period, was considered a political defeat. However, Cury (1978) suggests that this Republican disruption did not strain the alliance between Church and State, since Brazil remained a Catholic country. In the same sense, Cunha (2013) indicates that such separation happened in a very friendly way.

With this separation, the liberal project of a public and free school gained strength. School started to be seen as an essential element for social transformation by its secular, democratic and universal vocation. However, for the Church such a project threatened its goals in the educational field and its religious and spiritual hegemony.

The Church sought ways to keep religious control and ensure that the Brazilian population continued being, mostly, Catholic. One of them was to take advantage of the Constitution loopholes, which allowed for the political and administrative decentralization of educational services, to act politically in state governments (Romanelli, 1978). In another strategy, it was used the discourse anchored in the maintenance of tradition and in family union, because in Brazil population was mostly Catholic, and the Church possessed a monopoly over the development of faith, moral and ethics (Schwartzman, 1986). In this sense, aiming to get more followers, the Church idealized itself as a defender of rights and family values, in a period in which the state and its liberal ideology were organizing changes in education.

In this period, there was a polarization of ideas. On the one hand, intellectuals who advocated a secular, gratuitous, compulsory and democratic school to form free spirits and promote the nationalist project; on the other, the Catholic intellectuals who defended the Church’s influence in the educational field.

Regarding this polarization of ideals and ideas, Boschilia (2000) states that on one side there were those who would be recognized later as education pioneers and, on the other, the so-called Catholic intellectuals, layman and militants who, like most intellectuals, were deeply dissatisfied with the country backwardness, with the ignorance and ineptitude of governments. In this context, the pioneers believed that education problems could be solved with a project of modernization and pedagogical rationalization, disassociating themselves from the traditional teaching. The project was inspired by the principles of freedom and activity, among others. In the manifesto, published in 1932, the group advocated the gratuity, obligation, secularity of teaching and the need for a national education policy.

One of the most lucid studies that points out this polarization between ideologies of liberal intellectuals and of Church was carried out by Cury (1978). The author has shown that the former was opposed to the elitist, exclusionary, and spiritualist educational thought of the Catholic Church. In the ideology of the new school pioneers, the visions of man and world were based on anthropological-philosophical assumptions, starting from education. The latter were seeking the ideal man formation through education, as a return process of man, for himself and for his interior, satisfying the laws of spirit.

Cury (1978) points out several confrontations and some convergent ideas between these two groups. The two groups agreed that there was a crisis installed in the world and in Brazil, and it was necessary a reorganization of the system without destroying it. Both feared the danger of communism and, for them, the education constituted itself in a hope of salvation for humankind.

The Catholic intellectuals devoted themselves not only to the reintroduction of optional Religious Teaching in public schools, but mainly to the maintenance of a culture already established (Catholic faith). The pioneer renovators strived for the creation of an education within the new critical and free spirit. There was, in this context, disagreements and confrontations of ideas between groups over the vision of moral and ethics. Catholics, in this process, longed for more room for Christianity in Brazil, and reformers wanted the democratization of public school. Many conflicts were mediated by the state. However, as indicated by Cury (1978), what these groups wanted was to establish their ideas, ideals, foundations and principles in the Constitution.

The 1934 Constitution, although considering some demands from the renovation movement, ceded to the appeals of Catholic representatives by establishing the facultative Religious Teaching. In the 1937 Constitution, the State continued to maintain education free of cost and compulsory, but in a less emphatic way, with a more supplementary action in relation to its duty as an educator. Concerning Religious Teaching, the text presented was also milder, incorporating the idea that it could be considered as a course subject, but not as an obligation for teachers or as compulsory attendance for students (Cunha, 2013).

Between 1942 and 1946, the then Minister Capanema made several reforms entitled Organic Laws of Teaching. They were educational reforms, which have adapted as much to government pretensions as to those of the Church. In 1961, the first National Education Guidelines and Framework Law (LDBEN), Law 4.024, stated in its article 97 that religious teaching would be a course of official schools, having facultative enrollment and being given without charge to public powers, in accordance with the student’s religious confession. This question of religious teaching was also present in the 1967 Constitution, Law 5692 (Brazil, 1971) (article 7, single paragraph) and in the 1988 Constitution (Brazil, 1988) (article 210). The LDBEN/96 also brought the topic in its article 33, which gained new wording with Law n. 9475, dated August 22, 1997.

Recently, at last, the Decree n. 7107, dated February 11, 2010 was promulgated, creating the agreement known as concordat between Brazil and the Vatican. In Cunha’s words (2013, p. 78), “[…] it has become reality what never happened, nor during the empire”. In this document, the Church managed to have the Brazilian State to establish a treaty, guaranteeing special privileges of political, fiscal, labor, educational nature, among others, colliding and disrespecting the Brazilian Constitution.

The LGBT Movement

Mellucci (2001) claims that a social movement arises from a conflicted setting, caused by the lack of recognition of a collective identity in a socio-political and economic context. They are groups that compete for spaces in society in order to be recognized and they seek, among other things, social affirmation. This is the case of the movement of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites, transsexuals and transgender (LGBT). The abbreviation follows a resolution created in the I National LGBT Conference, held in 2008 (Vianna, 2015).

The LGBT movement acts in a large network of relationships that includes several players, bringing together demands, claims, programs, projects, among others. Among its several fields of reflection and acting is education. Their discussions and actions have influenced and are influencing the Ministry of Education (MEC), the body responsible for educational policies in Brazil.

The movement comprises, among other things, reflections on homophobia in schools or homophobic bullying, discusses and points out policies for teacher training aiming to deconstruct the discourses on gender identity and the questions of diversity, and organizes courses and meetings in the educational field.

In the 1990s, the debates about gender relations within public policies started in the education field. According to Vianna (2015), during President Lula’s two mandates there was the emergence of a discourse oriented to social inclusion. This was the result of pressures exerted by social fights, collective demands, pursuing of cultural recognition and as a way of overcoming some of the social inequalities. The same author indicates that the LGBT movement had presence and a prominent role in this process.

The movement gained momentum with the creation, in 1995, of the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians and Transgenders (ABGLT). It mobilized the presence of new people, the diffusion of initiatives in the legislative sphere and, at the same time, the fight for expanding their rights (Ramos; Adão; Barros, 2003). This is an active movement in the Brazilian scenario.

The relationship between the movement and the Brazilian government gradually narrowed, including the liaison with MEC. From these relationships, it is highlighted the creation of the Department for Continuing Education, Literacy and Diversity (SECAD), in 2004, which was renamed in 2011 to Department for Continuing Education, Literacy, Diversity and Inclusion (SECAD). Such institution has the purpose of facing the several dimensions of inequality, using projects, actions and programs to tackle racial and sexual discrimination, valuing ethnic diversity (Brazil, 2004).

In 2004, it was created the Brazil without Homophobia Program (known as BSH), aiming to fight physical, verbal and symbolic violence and discrimination, whose centrality consisted of tackling homophobia, violence and defending gender identities and homosexual citizenship. The creation of the BSH was moderated by the LGBT movement, which brought historic demands and the creation of partnerships with universities for the final document draw up. However, the process and elaboration of the final document were influenced by opponents, some of them from the public management, others linked to the Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB) and others from the Evangelicals group, situated in the Legislative and in society (Rossi, 2010).

The LGBT movement had a key role in public policies, especially in the two governments of President Lula, in the admission process, by MEC, of topics such as sexual and gender diversity in their official documents. The movement struggles, in the context of the right for education, for the recognition of rights related to sexualities that were undervalued over decades.

In this process, acting in the topics of diversity and gender, several clashes with religious happened. In the School without Homophobia Project, articulated with the Brazil without Homophobia program, there was the creation of educational material developed with the support of several NGOs (Pathfinder of Brazil, Communication in Sexuality - ECOS; The Global Alliance for LGBT Education), which approached in a systematic manner the homophobia. It was foreseen also in the agreement established with MEC for teachers training. However, this project, which was considered an attack to the traditions of Brazilian families, suffered pressure from religious political parties in the National Congress and ended up being vetoed by President Dilma Rousseff in May 2011 (Almeida, 2016).

Specifically, in relation to the National Education Plan, it is initially registered the intense participation of the LGBT movement, since the elaboration of the National Education Conference (CONAE) final document in 2010, which resulted in the PNE. Such participation, however, caused reactions from conservative and religious movements. As stated by Moreira (2016, p. 83):

The effort of LGBT social movements, expressed in CONAE 2010 final document, drew the attention of these ultraconservative political and social segments and religious fundamentalists, culminating in a series of debates about the writing and approval of Bill 8035/2010, basis for the National Education Plan - PNE. Due to these conflicts, the Bill is very far from what was prescribed in the CONAE 2010 final document.

In the Bill (PL 8035/2010) that became Law n. 13005 of June 25, 2014 (Brazil, 2014a), or simply PNE, the guidelines from the LGBT movement were excluded in the processing and approval process (Moreira, 2016). In this context, the struggles and demands made by the movement, composed of researches about gender and sexuality, and the set of knowledge of social movements were interpreted by fundamentalist and conservative groups linked to religious movements as gender ideology. Thereby, as Moreira points out (2016, p. 98), “[…] through the total inversion of discourses, those who until then were considered as excluded, their historical fights and even their conquests began to represent a threat to the guiding principles of family”.

The most recent struggles and conflicts of the LGBT movement with Church religious groups happened in the elaboration process of State and Municipal Plans of Education. In this context, the LGBT movement was defending the secularity of plans and maintenance of the terms gender ideology and diversity. The Church, on the other hand, was intended to remove these terms from the idealized documents. In some Brazilian cities like Mauá (São Paulo state), these confrontations were marked by verbal aggressions, while in others by physical aggressions.

Greater São Paulo ABC

The region known as Greater São Paulo ABC was once considered the cradle of trade unionism in Brazil. For a long time, it has well-established institutions such as the Catholic Church Diocese, a newspaper called Diário do Grande ABC, labor unions, business entities and the Borda do Campo telephone company, among others.

The region is formed by the municipalities of Santo André, São Bernardo do Campo, São Caetano do Sul, Diadema, Mauá, Ribeirão Pires and Rio Grande da Serra, with an area of 635 km² and a population of approximately 2.5 million inhabitants. In this context, 19.8% of people were aged 15 years or less and 12% were 60 years or older. Rio Grande da Serra had the largest number of young people (23%), while São Caetano had the largest number of elderly people (20.1%) (Observatório da Educação do Grande ABC, 2015).

Research from the same Observatory, regarding the social inequality measured by the Gini Index (measured with variation between 0 and 1, where 0 means no inequality and 1 the highest possible inequality), revealed the indexes of these municipalities: Santo André (0.53), São Bernardo (0.54) and São Caetano (0.54), with highest income, showed the greatest social inequalities. Diadema (0.43), Mauá (0.44) and Rio Grande da Serra (0.39) had the lowest inequalities. Table 1 summarizes other data concerning the characteristics of Greater São Paulo ABC:

Table 1: Demographic Characteristics of Cities 

City Population Territorial area km2 GDP (millions) Position of GDP MHDI 2010 Family Income (R$) Average years of schooling Internet access (%)
Santo André 704,942 175,781 17,664,718 33th 0.815 1,499 10 72.7
São Bernardo do Campo 805,895 409,478 36,337,338 14th 0.805 1,394 10 81.7
São Caetano do Sul 156,362 15,33 11,762,744 48th 0.862 2,349 11 73.4
Diadema 406,718 30,796 11,786,624 47th 0.757 917 08 57.2
Mauá 444,136 61,866 7,633,782 79th 0.766 815 09 65.2
Rio Grande da Serra 47,142 36, 341 529,413 816th 0.749 747 09 62.6
Ribeirão Pires 118,871 99,119 1,978,256 287th 0.784 974 09 52.6

Source: Authors’ elaboration by IBGE - 2011.

São Caetano do Sul was considered the Brazilian city with the highest Municipal Human Development Index (MHDI) (2000 and 2010). This is the municipality that also presents a high average of schooling of its population: 11 years.

The region has a total of 1,372 public and private schools and 608,685 enrollments. Regarding the number of school and enrollments by segment, Table 2 shows the results:

Table 2: Schools and Enrollments Data (public and private schools) ‒ 2014 

Cities Number of schools Daycare Enrollments Preschool Enrollments Early years Enrollments Final Years Enrollments High School Enrollments EJA Enrollments Special Education Enrollments
Santo André 420 13,277 15,716 44,083 39,362 33,262 5,870 255
São Bernardo do Campo 383 17,898 20,050 53,485 46,292 39,571 7,485 520
São Caetano do Sul 99 3,685 3,252 9,662 10,050 9,176 947 320
Diadema 178 7,500 10,423 31,236 27,162 20,853 5,733 382
Mauá 181 5,934 10,015 26,929 25,424 20,261 5,075 196
Ribeirão Pires 84 2,552 2,689 7,884 7,121 5,740 1,815 574
Rio Grande da Serra 27 497 1,111 2,444 2,558 1,946 315 98
Total 1,372 51,343 63,256 175,723 157,969 130,809 27,240 2,345

Source: Authors’ elaboration by School Census/INEP 2014.

The highest concentration of enrollment in both public and private schools is at the Elementary School level. In this scenario, little more than 4% lies in the Youth and Adults Education (EJA), and less than one percent in Special Education.

Methodology

The purpose of this study was to analyze the elaboration process of Municipal Education Plans (PME) of Greater São Paulo ABC region, setting this analysis in a broader framework to understand some influences carried out, especially by those who fought for the secularity of the plans, among them, the LGBT movement, and by the Catholic Church, which aimed to remove from final texts the terms gender ideology and diversity.

It is a research carried out in one of the Brazilian regions with high social and economic levels, a setting that offers conditions which are distinct from other areas of Brazil. In this context, the case study was selected among the qualitative approaches, evaluating, in this region, multiple cases simultaneously (Yin, 1993).

In the case study, a context is analyzed under multiple understandings. It is common to use the strategy of methods triangulation or the one of researchers to collect several types of data coming from different sources. Such situation has the intention of ensuring the quality of results. The main peculiarity of this study is its singularity, where the phenomenon is studied in a particular and unique way. It is a singular representation of a reality that is, at the same time, multidimensional and historically situated (André, 1984).

For data collection, it was used systematic observations, document analysis and interviews. In the former, it is a process in which the researcher can register, film or record information, often evaluating the phenomena in the same site where they occurred. As it is a task carried out in the field, it is studied immersed in the reality, seeking evidence to understand the object of study.

In this study, the observation was systematic, structured and planned, using protocols with goals for accomplishing the registrations. The observation was simultaneously characterized as descriptive and reflective.

The observation process happened with the researcher participation in all sessions of the Councilors Chamber of the seven municipalities for the PME voting. In Santo André, it occurred in June 30, 2016; in São Bernardo do Campo, in December 9, 2015; in São Caetano do Sul, in June 19, 2015; in Diadema, in March 31, 2016; in Mauá, in September 8, 2015; in Ribeirão Pires, in June 24, 2015; and in Rio Grande da Serra, in June 30, 2015.

In the process of document analysis, the media vehicles of the region were analyzed in 2015 and 2016, with articles related to the plans: Diário do Grande ABC, Repórter Diário, ABCD Maior, ABC Repórter, Rudge Ramos Online, CitizenGO, Diário Regional, Destak ABC, Imprensa ABC, Portal do Grande ABC, Folha de Ribeirão Pires, and Folha de São Caetano. In parallel, the municipal plans and the approval Laws of the documents were analyzed in their entirety: in Santo André, Law n. 9.723, of August 20, 2015; in São Bernardo do Campo, Law n. 6.447, dated December 28, 2015; in São Caetano do Sul, Law n. 5.316, of June 18, 2015; in Diadema, Law n. 3.584, of April 12, 2016; in Mauá, Law n. 5.097, dated October 16, 2015; in Ribeirão Pires, Law n. 5.995, dated June 30, 2015; and in Rio Grande da Serra, Law n. 2.130, of June 30, 2015.

Lastly, semi-structured interviews were conducted with one member of each commission of PME elaboration from the seven municipalities. Seven participants were interviewed, considering their profile (gender, age, education, and professional experience), type of participation in the plan, difficulties and challenges faced. At the end of session of each Municipal Chamber from the seven cities, two or three participants were interviewed to understand their perceptions and positions concerning the Municipal Education Plan (PME).

The data analysis involved the use of grounded theory. The central idea was guided by simultaneity between information collection and analysis. Being an inductive methodology, results emerge from the analysis. It is an appropriate approach for the drafting of substantive theories about social phenomena (Corbin; Strauss, 1998).

All data resulting from observations, document analysis and interviews were broken down from thematic investigations. In this case, were grouped the topics that were more present, more significant and similar in testimonies or in observations. The achievement of such investigation allowed a synthesis of regularities, similarities and differences, allowing the deepening and greater understanding about the phenomenon.

Results

Concerning the participants of interviews, approximately 70% were female, with an average age of 43 years, all with higher education (85% - in pedagogy) and a little over 50% held a Master’s degree. Of these professionals, around 70% were working in Education Departments and the others were members of the Municipal Councils of Education.

To draw up the PME, all the cities created a special commission with members belonging to several segments representing the Education Department, the private education network, Higher Education Institutions, Municipal Education Councils, among others. At the same time, they carried out a diagnosis of local reality, using information from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the National Institute for Educational Studies and Research (INEP), from the planning of Education Departments, among others. In this context, all of them used data from a study conducted by the Municipal University of São Caetano do Sul, based on real data from each municipality regarding schools and education.

Most municipalities held preconferences and conferences (in Santo André it was held in April 24 and 25, 2015); however the participation of population and other segments was considered low. In most cities, less than a thousand people participated in the whole process. In fact, one of the major difficulties faced was the “[…] awareness of civil society to participate in the process of PME elaboration” (Santo André commission member, 2016). In this context, another difficulty, especially in Santo André and São Caetano do Sul, was related to the lack of connection with the State Education Network, which made it difficult, among other things, the discussion process of the goal 03 referring to High School.

The elaboration of documents generated several challenges for the cities. In general, short time was one of the challenging factors for the commissions. For Santo André, according to the interviewee, it was difficult “[…] with little time making the participants understand what it is to draw up a long-term plan, keeping in mind that this is a state policy and not of governments” (Santo André commission member, 2016). In São Caetano do Sul, a participant stated that “[…] we had little time to do all the work, collect data, discuss, call the population” (Santo André commission member, 2016).

Other challenges faced were related to the plan goals. In Santo André, the most polemical goals and strategies, which took more time in discussions, were those associated with Early Childhood Education (1), Elementary Education (2), Special Education (4), Average Schooling (8), Literacy (9), and Youth and Adult Education integrated with Vocational Education (10). However, the one that generated the greatest controversy was the 18 (Teacher Career Plan). In São Bernardo do Campo it was the goals 4, 18 and 20. In Mauá, goals 15 (Teacher Training), 16 (Continuing Education), 17 (Teacher Valorization) and 18 (Career Plan) were the most conflicting. In São Caetano do Sul and Ribeirão Pires, the most effusive debates took place over the goal 4: “Universalize, for the population aged four to 17, school attendance for students with disabilities” and its strategies, 18 and 20. In Rio Grande da Serra, the debates concerned goals 3, 15, 16, 17 and 18.

In the process of documents elaboration, according to the interviewees, some cities did not perform any analysis action of the budgetary impact of the plan (Ribeirão Pires, Rio Grande da Serra). In other words, the financial effect of each one of the plan goals was not analyzed. In other municipalities, this appreciation was carried out superficially (São Caetano do Sul).

In the plans elaboration, in some cities, there was interference of groups related to the Church when the plan was being drawn up. In Ribeirão Pires, in the conferences, religious people participated “[…] suggesting the removal of terms that were associated with gender ideology” (Ribeirão Pires commission member, 2016). In São Caetano do Sul, this group did not participate in the meetings; however, representatives of the commission received phone calls, indicating suggestions for removing the same terms from the plan, a more veiled attempt to influence the PME.

The Plans in the Municipal Chambers of Education

With the plans finalized, the document was sent to the Chamber of Councilmen and debated by the councilmen. In all municipalities, with the exception of São Caetano do Sul, the approval sessions of plans were marked by protests, riots, disputes, rivalry and, in some cases, verbal and physical violence.

In Santo André, the PME approval session had several protests organized by the group Eu sou família (I am family) and the LGBT movement. These groups polarized the debate in the Chamber plenary, generating a big turmoil in the document voting. On the one hand, Catholics and Evangelicals were acting with a discourse in defense of family; on the other, the movement defended the secularity of the plan and the maintenance of the terms gender and diversity ideology. Such unrest situation, enhanced by the plenary invasion of further agitated LGBT protesters, caused stress in the voting and interrupted the session several times, demanding the aid of military police. One of the LGBT participants stated that “[…] we are fighting so that the terms diversity and gender are placed in the document. We need to discuss gender in schools. This is not an inquisition of the LGBT movement.” (LGBT movement member, 2016).

The analysis of regional media vehicles, in Santo André, signaled the riots that took place in the Chamber of councilmen. Among the newspapers, the Repórter Diário pointed out “Santo André Chamber approves educational plan in tumultuous session” (6/30/2015), while the CitizenGO published “[…] you should thank the councilmen of Santo André for the rejection of gender ideology in PME” (6/2/2015), among others.

In São Bernardo do Campo, the PME was debated in the City Council under intense dispute among councilmen, Church members, LGBT movement and residents present in the plenary. The voting took place in a climate of tension and dispute, where both groups pressured the councilmen to either remove the terms diversity and gender or include them into the final document. Such situation resulted in heated discussions, accompanied by the throwing of objects and, in some cases, physical aggressions. This setting suffered the intervention of municipal police.

The newspapers of the region showed that the debate was intense and tense. The Diário do Grande ABC brought the headline: “PME de São Bernardo goes to the voting under tension” (12/9/2015), the Repórter Diário announced “Tension makes Education Plan to be postponed in São Bernardo” (12/2/2015), the ABCD Maior reported “Chamber imposes retrocession to education in São Bernardo” (12/9/2015), the ABC Repórter stated “Even the bishop comes into the picture in the PME discussion in São Bernardo” (12/9/2015), and the Rudge Ramos Online notified “Chamber approves Municipal Education Plan with restriction to gender discussion” (12/9/2015).

In São Caetano do Sul, the final PME document was sent to the City Council and was approved in June 18, by the Law n. 5.316. Different from other municipalities, the plan approval did not happen in the presence of religious groups or the LGBT movement. The newspapers announced only the document approval: the Diário do Grande ABC indicated, “Chamber of São Caetano votes Plan for Education” (6/9/2015) and the Diário Regional stated “Legislative of São Caetano votes Municipal Education Plan” (6/9/2015).

In fact, the approval took place in a quiet session without exceeding the full capacity of plenary. However, according to one interviewee of this municipality, any part of the plan with words related with the terms sex, sexual and sexist was replaced. Such decision of replacing the terms was attributed to the members of the public management (São Caetano commission member, 2016).

In this city, based on the interview, it was also possible to capture that the coordinators of the commission received phone calls (9) and visits of city councilmen (4) asking for explanations about the PME, especially on the topic of gender ideology. These councilmen were already signaling that the plan would need changes. The organizing committee of the plan was also called up in the City Hall to explain the document and received suggestions for making amendments.

In Diadema, the PME was drawn up with delay, and this situation led the Public Prosecutor to formally request the municipal administration to draft the proposal. Only in the first half of 2016 the plan was started, following the MEC guidelines.

In this city, long before the PME arrived at the City Council, Catholics and Evangelicals groups were mobilized against the terms diversity and gender ideology. There were signs in the Main Church, located near the City Council, as well as banners with slogans against these words (4 banners).

On the day of the plan approval, the City Council had full occupancy. Participants with posters signaled the disputes between groups. However, there were not, in this session, confrontations or watchwords by those present. It seemed, according to one of the interviewees, “[…] that everything was already solved, you know, the plan would be altered and the terms diversity and gender would be removed from it” (Diadema commission member, 2016).

In this city, the regional newspapers only registered the events: the Jornal do ABC reported only “Participate in the construction of the New Municipal Education Plan of Diadema” (2/3/2016) and the Repórter Diário signaled “PME is approved in Diadema without ideology of gender” (4/1/2016).

In Mauá, the crowded plenary included groups linked to the Catholic Church and the LGBT movement. In this setting, the clashes between groups began when, in the middle of the session, councilmen left the plenary for a meeting. From one end, religious group displayed posters, criticizing the gender ideology, chanting prayers (Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary) or reciting sentences like right to family, education that generates life; on the other, the LGBT group uttered terms like no to retrogression.

The clashes came to blows when some religious, with rosaries (instrument of Catholics worship) in their hands, tried to pull out and destroy the colorful flags of the LGBT movement. In this context of disputes and aggressions, some of them physical, the municipal civil guard had to intervene.

The return of councilmen to plenary was marked by the approval of the 19 items of the Agenda, including the PME. The vote lasted two minutes and this situation left many participants without understanding what had happened, creating new conflicts. The strategy to expedite voting was a deliberate attempt to avoid embarrassment before the LGBT group. With this maneuver, councilmen did not go up to the rostrum to justify their votes and the voting occurred very quickly.

An interview conducted with the mayoral pre-candidate of Mauá, after the debate, showed that he believed in the commitment on the part of the Education Department to keep the reference to gender equality in the final PME. However, he did not understand the alteration made. According to the interviewee, this situation derives from the fact that both executive and legislature feared losing votes in the next election. He also pointed out that the advancement achieved by the creation of the Municipal Council for Human Rights and Citizenship of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals (CMDHC-LGBT) could be lost with these controversies related to the PME.

Regional newspapers signaled the discussions that took place: the ABCD Maior pointed out, “Religious’ group pressure city councilmen in Mauá regarding the word diversity” (8/4/2015) and “Religious group win at arm wrestling in Plan for Education of Mauá” (09/5/2015), the Diário do Grande ABC published “Chamber of Mauá approves PME with delay” (9/9/2015), the Diário Regional revealed in a headline “Voting of Mauá Education Plan is postponed to August” (06/6/2016).

In Ribeirão Pires, a notable issue was the dismissal of the Assistant Secretary of Education, who led the plan preparation, a fact registered by the Diário do Grande ABC (06/27/2015). The public servant was appointed as responsible for the plagiarism of the National Education Plan (PNE) for the local Municipal Plan (PME). The denunciation was made by the newspaper, which showed that the plan was almost fully copied from the PNE. The plan (plagiarism) indicated that the city committed to invest 7% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually in the area, an amount equivalent to R$ 386.4 billion, an amount similar to 5.152 of the Education Department budget for 2015, which had an amount of R$ 75 million. The PME also planned to train 85.000 educators within 10 years. However, the city had a little more than 110 thousand inhabitants, according to the 2014 IBGE data.

In this city, the plan voting was postponed a few times, since councilmen alleged lack of time to analyze the document. The most intense debate was the one linked to the term diversity. In this case, representatives of the Church and a group of parents were in the City Council, demanding the removal of this topic from the document. Their understanding was related to the fact that education should be provided by families. However, it should be noted that the word diversity was not included in the text as sexual diversity, but rather as a set of actions aimed at tackling discrimination and fighting for respect of social minorities (women, indigenous people, blacks, northeasterners, gypsies, LGBT, among others).

Regional newspapers registered the debates about the PME: the ABCD Maior revealed that “Municipal Conference of Ribeirão Pires was held to discuss items that make up the PME for the next ten years” (6/2/2015), while Folha de Ribeirão Pires pointed out that (06/19/2015) “Chambers of region postpone voting of the Municipal Education Plan”.

Rio Grande da Serra carried out its PME with the same procedures as other municipalities. As in other cities, the voting of document in June 30, 2015 caused several conflicts between representatives of the Church and LGBT movement. In some cases, there were discussions between group members with verbal aggression and almost physical confrontation. The city’s newspapers signaled these debates and conflicts, showing that the Church had defeated the LGBT movement (Repórter Diário and ABCD Maior).

In the cities of the Greater São Paulo ABC region, with the exception of São Caetano do Sul, social networks have brought other forms of manifestation in relation to the PME. A public petition2 was launched aiming to gather signatures against the issue of gender ideology: “[...] we, undersigned, have been worried about the issue of gender ideology that has been inserted in some Municipal and State Plans of Education”. In another part of the petition it was pointed out that “[...] we consider that Education on these matters is the right and duty of parents. Therefore, we do not accept any form of ‘ideologization’ and/or ‘indoctrination’ in the Municipal Education Plan”.

Also noteworthy is that in all cities of the region the plans were changed, being removed any terms related to gender ideology or diversity. In some cities, the laws of the plans that were approved contained amendments with a prohibitive character. In this case, they did not allow orientation, guidelines and goals concerning gender diversity, sexual orientation or any kind of induction to sexual orientation of children and adolescents, including the elaboration of promotional or didactic material. In Santo André, they are in the articles 13 and 14 of Law n. 9723; in São Bernardo do Campo, article 11 of Law n. 6447; in Diadema, Article 9 of Law n. 3584; and in Mauá, article 8 of Law n. 5097.

Regarding the interference from outside groups, the interviewees pointed out that such actions were considered backwardness and a disservice to education. As indicated by one teacher, this is another setback for Brazilian education (Mauá commission member, 2016). In Santo André, it was signaled that this situation is “[…] contrary to the 1988 Federal Constitution, LDBEN/96 and international agreements. With this position, we are going against history and reality of our families and society.” (Santo André commission member, 2016). The same participant added that this is a “[…] fundamentalist position taken so that children, adolescents and adults are submissive to the dominant ideology of a system that does not allow for the underdogs to raise awareness and defend their rights”. The participant from Ribeirão Pires mentioned that education “[…] was weakened at the debate in the face of so many other segments that are not linked daily with educational work; in other words, they are trying to define how school should address some topics” (Santo André commission member, 2016).

Following the elaboration of plans, the Education Departments and the Municipal Councils of the cities remained involved in the process. In Santo André, the commission guaranteed the creation of a Municipal Committee of Inter Federative Articulation (Law n. 9723/2015): “This will be the PME guardian. It is formed by the following organs - Municipal Department of Education, State Department of Education - Teaching Board, Federal University of ABC, Municipal Council of Education, Municipal Education Forum” (Santo André commission member, 2016). In other cities, the Permanent Municipal Forum of Education was created to monitor deadlines (Ribeirão Pires, São Caetano). In addition, the Consortium of the ABC region, in partnership with the Federal University of ABC, created the Observatory of Public Policies that will follow all the plans.

Tables 3 and 4 summarize the main findings in relation to Municipal Education Plans (PME) of the Greater São Paulo ABC region. Table 3 shows the data in the elaboration process of the plans:

Table 3: Data from the Process of Drawing up the Plans 

SA SBC SCS Diadema Mauá RP RGS
Creation of commission Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Completion of initial diagnosis Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Completion of preconferences and conferences Yes Yes Only Conferences Yes Yes Yes Only Conferences
Controversial goals 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 18. 4, 18, 20 4, 18, 19, 20 1, 4, 18, 20 15, 16, 17, 18 4, 18, 20 3, 15, 16, 17 and 18.
Budgetary impact analysis Performed superficially Did not carry out Performed superficially Did not carry out Performed partially Did not carry out Did not carry out
Interference in the PME elaboration No No Yes, Church and members of public management Yes, Church No Yes, Church No
Groups that acted in the process Catholic Church/LGBT movement Catholic Church/LGBT movement Catholic Church/LGBT movement Catholic Church/LGBT movement Catholic Church/LGBT movement Catholic Church/LGBT movement Catholic Church/LGBT movement
Social participation Difficulty in raising society’s awareness Difficulty in raising society’s awareness Difficulty in raising society’s awareness Difficulty in raising society’s awareness Difficulty in raising society’s awareness Difficulty in raising society’s awareness Difficulty in raising society’s awareness
Interlocution with the state education network No interlocution Weak interlocution No interlocution No interlocution No interlocution Average interlocution Weak interlocution
Remarkable facts Public petition in social networks Public petition in social networks Public petition in social networks Public petition in social networks, delay in plan implementation Public petition in social networks Public petition in social networks, Deputy Secretary’s exoneration Nothing to declare

Source: authors’ elaboration.

Table 04 shows data of the phase held in the Municipal Chambers of the seven cities:

Table 4: Data from the Second Phase at Municipal Chambers 

SA SBC SCS Diadema Mauá RP RGS
Session for the plan approval Presence of religious and LGBT groups Presence of religious and LGBT groups Without the presence of groups Presence of religious and LGBT groups Presence of religious and LGBT groups Presence of religious and LGBT groups Presence of religious and LGBT groups
Adoption of PME in the City Council Protests, riots and verbal violence Protests, riots verbal and physical violence Without protests Protests without confrontations Protests, riots verbal and physical violence Protests, riots and verbal violence Protests, riots and verbal violence
Laws of approval of plans Copied from others Copied from others Small changes Copied from others Small Changes Copied from others Copied from others
Amendments in the Approval Laws of Plans Prohibits guidelines on diversity and gender Prohibits guidelines on diversity and gender Nothing to declare Prohibits guidelines on diversity and gender Prohibits guidelines on diversity and gender Nothing to declare Nothing to declare
Newspapers that pointed out the PME Repórter Diário, CitizenGO Diário do GABC, Repórter Diário, ABCD Maior Diário do GABC, Diário Regional Jornal ABC, Repórter Diário ABCD Maior, Diário do GABC, Diário Regional ABCD Maior, Folha de Ribeirão Pires Repórter Diário, ABCD Maior
Final plans Removed the terms: gender and diversity Removed the terms: gender and diversity The terms: gender and diversity were previously removed Removed the terms: gender and diversity Removed the terms: gender and diversity Removed the terms: gender and diversity Removed the terms: gender and diversity

Source: authors’ elaboration.

Discussion of Results

The discussion of results lies on some categories related to organization for the drawn up of the plans (reality diagnosis, creation of the organizing committee), to the lack of time for the accomplishment of documents, to social participation, to lack of interlocution between the Education Departments and the State Networks of Education, to more controversial goals in debates, to the sessions in the City Council for the approval of plans and its laws and, finally, to Church influences and the weakening of achievements in relation to prejudice and school homophobia.

The municipalities of the Greater São Paulo ABC made their plans at different times and in accordance with their cultural, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. In this context, it was important the participation of the Intermunicipal Consortium of the Greater São Paulo ABC that, in partnership with the University of São Caetano do Sul, helped in the general diagnosis regarding the educational offer and the technical and financial capacities available in the cities. In the same sense, more detailed studies were conducted on the physical structure of the schools, professional staff, results of the Index of Development of Basic Education (IDEB), distortion between age and grade at each teaching step, among others.

In all the municipalities studied, the phases for the PME drawn up were performed in a similar manner, as indicated by the guiding documents (Brasil, 2014b): creation of an organizing committee with members of the technical staff from the Education Department and the Municipal Council of Education, among others. These participants were responsible for drafting the work schedule, establishment of goals and strategies and accomplishment of a more particularized diagnosis. Subsequently, they organized the discussions about proposals previously designed, based on data collected, to be discussed with the population and, in the end, each team systematized the contributions, drawing up a final document that was delivered to the Municipal Secretary of Education and then forwarded to the City Council for approval.

Despite all this organization, data from interviews revealed that the plans, with different levels for each city, were carried out in a softer manner, induced by the deadline of the document elaboration (06/24/2015). In some cities (Ribeirão Pires), such speediness was a crucial (cause) for the exoneration of the Education Deputy Secretary (Diário do Grande ABC of 06/27/2015), who was accused of having plagiarized the PNE in full. However, it cannot be attributed only to time the fact that some cities did not make budgetary analysis and others operated them in a superficial manner, without deepening the financial impacts, showing contempt and ineptitude in planning educational matters.

The participation of society in preconferences and conferences, as indicated in the interviews, was not satisfactory. Such situation may indicate society disinterest in this type of participation; however, it also signals the lack of planning and lack of capacity for popular mobilization of the Education Departments to attract people. Placing banners and posters to induce people into social participation is not enough. In this case, it is necessary to create mechanisms, such as networks, to ensure viability of this process, which, as Silva, Jaccoud and Beghin (2005) pointed out, promotes transparency and actions visibility, allowing advancements in promoting equality and equity in public policies and, at the same time, expansion of public rights and democratization of the decision-making system.

In this context of plans’ elaboration, it also stands out the lack of relation of the Education Departments with the State Education Networks of each municipality, making it difficult the construction of documents. In fact, even with the indication of the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, which signaled that union, states and municipalities should act in a collaborative regime aiming the educational development, as claimed by Cury (2002) and Costa (2013), it is not available up to now, after some decades, any national law that establishes the understanding of how such collaborative practice should occur, despite the advances brought by the Federal Constitution and the LDBEN/1996.

In the preparation of plans, some goals were surrounded by major controversies: Special Education (4), Career Plans (18) and Education Financing (20). In relation to goal 18, most municipalities signaled in their PME a two-year period for the teachers’ career to be structured, something that will require budget analyses, which were not substantially carried out in some cities.

In fact, goal 18 is one of the most important ones, since it is at the confluence of working conditions, wages and right to education. Its relevance is even more intense, considering the growing precariousness of the teaching work (Apple, 1995; Franchi, 1995; Oliveira, 2003; Santos, 2001, Enguita, 2004; Gonçalves, 2005), which is related, among other things, to the matters of wages received (Franchi, 1995), the high number of working hours and, employee turnover (Franchi, 1995; Gonçalves, 2005), the intensification of teachers’ work (Apple, 1995), work overload (Fullan; Hargreaves, 2000), and the influence of these elements on teachers’ health (Gasparini; Barreto; Assunção, 2005).

In relation to the PME approval laws, these may be considered, in general, copies from one municipality to the other, including the positioning of articles and paragraphs, as well as many terms used. It seems that there was a cascade movement related to the reproduction of the form and content of these legislations, indicating the fragility of documents. Only Mauá and São Caetano do Sul showed a few differences in the legal texts.

The laws have presented, in some municipalities (Santo André, São Bernardo do Campo, Diadema and Mauá), texts with prohibitive restrictions related to orientations and guidelines linked to the matters of gender diversity and sexual orientation. However, even in those cities without such restrictive articles, all final texts of the PME were altered with the removal of the terms gender and diversity, undermining the achievements of a broader educational context, aiming, among other things, the fight against homophobia in schools.

The situation of these laws and the PME alterations indicates the Church’s pressure on the councilmen and, consequently, the continuity of its influence over education and school. The success of the Church was achieved in all cities of the Greater São Paulo ABC, indicating that it has avail itself of the same strategies used in the past, that is, a discourse centered on maintaining the tradition and union of the Brazilian family (Schwartzman, 1986). As Moreira (2016) pointed out, through the total inversion of discourses, historical struggles of the LGBT movement and its achievements were classified as threats to the foundations that guide families. The same author also pointed out that “[…] the simple democratic act of using the word in the pursuit for rights began to be interpreted as an imposition of values of a minority, minorities wanting to silence the majority” (Moreira, 2016, p. 98).

In this context, the search for equality envisaged in a version of Bill n. 8035/2010, the upcoming PNE, sent to the Federal Senate in 2012, which contained in its Art. 2, subparagraph III, the guideline indicating the “[...] overcoming of educational inequalities, with emphasis on promoting equality towards race, region, gender and sexual orientation” (Brasil, 2012, p. 1), was disregarded. This situation indicates the growing ascendency of fundamentalist and conservative groups in relation to human rights issues, overshadowing or even minimizing the demands and agendas of the LGBT movement, among others.

Data from this study (interviews with committee members) revealed that this whole situation weakened education. The removal of the terms gender and diversity from the PME, according to these interviewees, had an impulsive, unthinking, foolish and even improvident character. They considered such actions a delay, a disservice, a setback for Brazilian education. In the region, the Regional Education Forum of Municipalities (ABCDMRR Forum) wrote an open letter of repudiation addressed to the population and to MEC, considering the weakening of achievements in education regarding school homophobia. This communication made clear the support for LGBT group and the fight against homophobia.

Some conflicts between the LGBT movement and the Church were already known (Vianna, 2015) and were already happening since the 1990s. The influence of the movement in educational field, however, is much more recent, especially in President Lula’s administration (Vianna, 2011), but the Church’s ascendancy over education is already historical (Cury, 1978; Romanelli, 1978; Azzi, 1987; Marchi, 1989; Cunha, 2013). The continuity of the Church’s influence in the destinies of Brazilian education is registered, in the PME elaboration context of the Greater São Paulo ABC region. In this case, it weakens the education advances in relation to prejudice, discrimination and school homophobia.

Final Remarks

This study, carried out in one of the richest regions of the country, brought a wide range of elements, making possible the understanding of the elaboration process of Municipal Education Plans in the Greater São Paulo ABC region and, at the same time, of the influences in the educational field, made above all by Catholic Church and LGBT movement.

In the process of drawing up such an important document for the destiny of municipalities’ education, elements as hurrying, lack of budget analysis, meager dialogue with society and lack of interlocution with state network representatives were present, weakening the process.

The neglect in preparing the approval laws of plans and the Church’s influence over city councilmen were aspects of further weakening. The Church influenced, directly or indirectly through its members, the city councilmen, inducing them to make alterations in the PME of all municipalities. An influence that is historical, as described by Cunha (2013) in his study on religious decolonization of public school, and is still present nowadays, weakening the ideals of secularity in education.

This study points out a weakening of education in general, and of school, in particular, in relation to gender and diversity topics and the fight against prejudice, discrimination and homophobia, issues that had achieved progress in recent decades by the fights of the LGBT movement, among others (Vianna, 2011; 2015).

It is hoped that the Education Departments of the cities will resume working on the emptying of discussions about prejudices and the follow-up movements of plans do the same, with the purpose of recovering this historical loss that occurred in the elaboration of Municipal Education Plans of the Greater São Paulo ABC region.

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Received: October 08, 2016; Accepted: May 09, 2017

Paulo Sérgio Garcia is a Full Professor of the Education Department at Universidade Municipal de São Caetano do Sul (USCS), teaching at undergraduate and graduate level. Coordinator of the Observatory Project of the Greater São Paulo ABC region. E-mail: paulo.garcia@uscs.edu.br

Nélio Bizzo is a Full Professor of Teaching Methodology of Biological Sciences at the School of Education of Universidade de São Paulo, teaching at undergraduate course and graduate level. Coordinator of the Research Center on Education, Dissemination and Epistemology of Evolution (EDEVO-Darwin) of USP. E-mail: bizzo@usp.br

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