End of three-speed school: 100% funding to private schools?

To end the three -speed education system, the civic École ensemble movement proposes to fund private schools 100% so that they can be free and non -selective neighborhood schools, but still autonomous.

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With its private schools, selectively selected public school projects and the regular program, Quebec’s school system has become the most unfair in Canada according to a report by the Superior Council of Education (CSE). published in 2016.

The choice will lead to a concentration of students in difficulty in ordinary classes, adding to the inequalities in a system that “has few winners and many losers” confirms Claude Lessard, former president of CSE who now president of the movement. .

“Research says over a long period of time, the more diverse the classes, the higher the success rate,” he added.

To achieve this, a movement set up by parents of students proposes not to eliminate subsidies to private schools, but to 100% fund them to create a “common school network” to stop educational competition. .

In a broad proposal announced publicly on Tuesday, the École ensemble proposed to transform private schools into autonomous establishments, now 100% funded. These schools have a designated school pool, just like any neighborhood school: no more tuition fees and admission options.

“Private under contract” establishments will not, however, be integrated into the public network because they will not be managed by school service centers, but will retain their current legal status and therefore their own administration.

In school service centers, school areas will be completely redesigned to take into account the presence of independent schools, according to “optimized” behavior to avoid “that the non-mixing of puy- districts will be transferred to schools ”., according to the proposal announced publicly on Monday.

An example is given for the city of Laval.

End of school shopping

This proposal also aims to end school shopping: the student will attend school in relation to his or her residence, according to the updated map of school areas.

All schools in the common network, whether public or “private under contract”, will offer a free choice of free private courses. School timetables will be changed to include a fifth term devoted to elective courses to improve general education.

This schedule was implemented about ten years ago at Sainte-Marie high school in Princeville, allowing it to make a remarkable leap in the ranking of secondary schools presented by Le Journal in 2019.

Private schools that do not want to join the common network become “unconventioned” private establishments, which do not receive a state subsidy and can continue to select their students and impose a tuition fee, as in Ontario.

The transition will take place slowly over six years and will eventually result in net annual savings of approximately $ 100 million in public funds, according to a study by economist François Delorme at the University of Sherbrooke.

This roadmap is largely inspired by the Finnish model, where private schools are funded and 100% by a common school network since the 1970s.

A few weeks ago, public figures such as sociologist Guy Rocher and philanthropist Claude Chagnon supported this idea in an open letter published here.

As the election approaches, the École ensemble movement is convinced that such a solution can meet the needs of parents who no longer have to think about whether they can pay for private school, if their child is accepted into the particular program of his or her choice. . or if intimacy had to be sacrificed to meet the interests of their preteen who wanted to see all of his or her friends from elementary to the same high school.

“It’s time to allow kids in Quebec to learn together,” said Anne-Marie Boucher, vice president of the École ensemble.

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