Montpellier: the diocese is asking for municipal funding for private schools

Lowering compulsory education to 3 years has forced municipalities since January 2020 to pay and flat rate private kindergarten under contract. The diocesan direction of Catholic education in Montpellier looks at municipal accounts.

All private educational establishments are familiar with the law of 31/12/1959 known as the Debré law. Town halls too! It places an equal position on private education classes under the public education contract from kindergarten to high school, through a municipal lump sum paid by departments for colleges, regions for high school and municipalities. for schools.

A municipal package for private education students

A law dated from July 2019 known as the Blanquer law (read below) that established compulsory education at 3 years of age instead of 6 obliges municipalities to pay this flat rate at private kindergartens under contract, as has been done hitherto for ‘elementary.

Blanquer’s law expands funding for kindergartens

According to 2019-791 of July 26, 2019 “for a school of trust”: “From the beginning of the 2019 school year, all children from the age of 3 are concerned about the educational obligation. Enroll in a school or kindergarten, public or private ”. Therefore, town halls are obliged to finance students from the age of 3 through the municipal flat rate. The municipal contribution is calculated per student and per year according to the operating cost associated with day school in municipal public schools, nursery schools on the one hand and elementary on the other.

Basically, any amount paid for a public student is paid for a private student in equal proportions, for equivalence from an early age. Mathematics, like one and one makes both but the equation raises some controversy when it comes to finding a common basis for the cost of a public student. This cost, which constitutes an important criterion for the establishment of this famous communal package, is the subject of controversy as many legal disputes are said to be ongoing.

The diocese examines public accounts

“In Montpellier, it is still calculated for 2022”, said Jean-Marc Aphaule, director of Catholic education in Hérault who manages 45 schools in Hérault, including 12 in Montpellier. And he hopes to see things accomplished before May. “But we don’t wait for the law to pay off, it’s already under Georges Frêche if no one is forcing us to do so”, lined up with Françoise Boutet-Waiss, municipal councilor assigned to Fanny Dombre-Coste for Educational Life. Except that the account may not be there.

Since the specific price is established by the institution, “only the costs of operation, supplies, ATSEM, replacement of equipment, etc., excluding investments, construction, repairs, etc., are the responsibility of the municipality to the public sector and the owner of the private sector, part of the schools “, said Jean-Marc Aphaule. It is still necessary to determine the proportion of each equipment or agent dedicated to pure school time for example, and this, for any costs incurred.

“You can’t put the knife in your throat!”

The diocese of Catholic education, which represents about 90% of the private sector, performs real analytical accounting of municipal budgets. “Show us how the calculations are made. Regarding the transparency of public accounts, I have the right to ask the town hall for this detail. In places, this is pure poetry! The purchased equipment was increased by € 3 million , but what percentage is considered for the private sector? Here for external services. In doing so, I know I run the services, but we will not put a knife in anyone’s throat “assured the director.

The latter simply sent them a 4-page letter in the form of a questionnaire to clearly identify part of the expenses charged to 4,041 private students from kindergarten to CM2. In fact 3,337, the differential, or 704 non-resident students in Montpellier, are not supported by the municipality, even though they follow teaching there.

Cost of a private student in Montpellier: € 650

650 € in Montpellier for a student in kindergarten and 457 € in elementary, this is the price in Montpellier that does not satisfy the diocese that says itself “surprised at the distribution of some accounts”unless we bring him the proof of this calculation. “If it is justified, we will submit it. In Poitiers, in kindergarten, it is € 1,517, in Bordeaux € 1,455 and the palm goes to Nevers where it is calculated at € 2,200”, he details.

At this rate, Montpellier’s growth could increase if the City follows the example of its neighbors. A fixed price of € 1,000 would result in more than a million euros for a total cost of almost € 3.5 million per year.

But do we justify the part of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) (read below), “The use of an ATSEM on a large section or computer equipment is not mandatory”which can be done in private.

€ 1,400 in Saint-Georges-d’Orques

Asked, the mayor of Saint-Georges d’Orques, Jean-François Audrin was also the Horizons party delegate to former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe for the Metropolis of Montpellier. The municipality pays a hefty lump sum of € 1,400 per student in the municipal private sector. “We don’t make a distinction between private and public students. Everyone should have the same opportunity. This is the most equitable ratio applied.”. Does this mean that Montpellier is not investing enough in its Education? “Staffing is more widespread in big cities. With us, an agent assigned to a school is not assigned to anything else”, trying to address the general director of services, “For whom a student remains a student”, regardless of the chosen institution.

Questions to Delphine Labails from the Association of Mayors of France

You are the president of the AMF education commission and mayor of Périgueux. What do you think of the municipal package?

This is a complex question of nature. Funding for private elementary schools is over. When the government lowered the school age to 3, it effectively expanded funding for kindergartens. Unexpectedly, the AMF was not obtained. On the principle of public private sector finance, municipalities face class closures, it is a real pity and they also need to fund the private sector. The vocation of the community is the organization of the communal school. The school package is mandatory, of course, but it’s very difficult.

What is the role of the AMF in this issue?

The president of the AMF wrote directly to the Prime Minister to record the difficulties of the municipalities in order to obtain this surplus. As for the financial compensation from the State, it is very low. I set up a financial strategy where we go to the set price negotiating one or two mandates for example. In Périgueux where the flat rate is € 850, there is no conflict because we have long funded kindergartens when no one forced us to do so. Negotiating packages with Catholic educational bodies is one thing, but now you have to fight the State to get the promised compensation!

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