This article approaches the democratic management of public education in Brazil. It seeks to assess how the education systems of the States, the Federal District, and State capitals have been organized to meet the constitutional provisions that established democratic management as a public education principle, and at which level they adapted their legislation and rules, as well as their administrative framework, to participation demands. It analyzes the democratic management concepts vis-à-vis participation, principals assignment processes, the constitution and functioning of support committees within the schools, decentralization, and autonomy. It also mentions recent studies and research on the efforts and resistances found in the implementation of democratic management mechanisms in different education systems. It builds on the fact that the democratic management is adopted by the State as a means to achieve strategic targets and analyses the difficulties resulting from the implementation of such mechanisms, since these presuppose a high level of social participation but are sponsored by a State model strongly characterizes by patrimonialistic arrangements.
Education and State; Patrimonialism; Democratic management