To put an end to the three-speed education system, the citizen movement École ensemble proposes to fund private schools 100% so that they become free and non-selective neighborhood schools, but still autonomous.
With its private schools, its specific selective projects in public schools and the regular program, the Quebec school system has become the most inequitable in Canada according to a report by the Superior Council of Education published in 2016.
To remedy this, a movement founded by parents of students proposes not to abolish subsidies to private schools, but rather to finance them 100% to create a “common school network” in order to put an end to competition in education.
In an extensive proposal made public on Tuesday, École ensemble proposes to transform private schools into autonomous establishments, now 100% funded. These schools would have a designated school pool, like any neighborhood school: exit the tuition fees and the selection at the entrance.
The “private under agreement” establishments would not, however, be integrated into the public network since they would not be managed by the school service centres, but would retain their current legal status and therefore their own administration.
In the school service centers, the school areas would however be completely redefined to take into account the presence of independent schools, according to “optimized” criteria in order to avoid “that the residential non-mixedness of the districts is transferred to the schools”. , according to the proposal made public on Monday.
An example was provided for the city of Laval.
End of school shopping
This proposal also aims to put an end to school shopping: the student would attend the school associated with his place of residence, according to the redesigned map of school areas.
All the schools in the common network, whether public or “private under agreement”, would offer a free choice of free private courses. School timetables would be modified to include a fifth period devoted to elective courses to enhance general education.
Private schools that do not wish to join the common network would become “unconventioned” private establishments, which would receive no state subsidy and could continue to select their students and impose tuition fees, as in Ontario.
The transition would take place gradually over six years and would ultimately result in net annual savings of approximately $100 million in public funds, according to a study by economist François Delorme of the University of Sherbrooke.
This roadmap is largely inspired by the Finnish model, where private schools have been 100% funded and integrated into 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.
More details to come…