School movement plan together | A push to end the “school market”

Quebec’s education system is “unfair” and to reform it, the École ensemble movement proposes to end the funding of private schools and that all students in the province attend their neighborhood school, at primary and secondary levels.

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Marie-Eve Morasse

Marie-Eve Morasse
The print

Five years after its creation by its parents, the École ensemble movement returns to the attack a few months before the provincial elections by presenting a plan that aims to radically change the education system.

At the heart of this proposal, unveiled on Monday, is the creation of a single network of schools, where each student should attend the institution of his or her district, in both primary and secondary schools. It would therefore be the end of grant-aided private schools as we know them: private schools would be funded 100% by Quebec and free for all. Over a six-year horizon, they should only welcome pupils from their pelvis.

“Schools no longer choose their students,” Stéphane Vigneault, coordinator of the École ensemble movement, summed up at a press conference. The children go to school [de quartier]regardless of the parents’ ability to pay, ”he continued.


PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, THE PRESS

Stéphane Vigneault, coordinator of the École Ensemble movement

As is the case in Ontario, schools could remain private and select their students, but would no longer receive public funds, “either directly (subsidies) or indirectly (school transport),” reads the movement’s report. .

École ensemble commissioned economist François Delorme, of the University of Sherbrooke, to calculate that the annual savings for Quebec would be $ 100 million.

Beyond the savings, this reorganization would make it possible to get out of an “inefficient and unfair” system which, currently, “has few winners and many losers”, estimated Claude Lessard, sociologist of education and former president of the Higher Education Council. , who chairs the Board of Directors of the École Ensemble.


PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, THE PRESS

Claude Lessard, President of the École Ensemble Board of Directors

“Research has been telling us for some time: the more diversified the classes are, between boys and girls, between advantaged and disadvantaged students, between strong and weak students, between students of different ethnic origins, the higher the success rate of all young people increase, ”Lessard said.

For parents who are in the race to choose secondary school and for young people who feel stressed by the idea of ​​not being admitted to a chosen program, attending a neighborhood school is a “simple, peaceful vision that seems unattainable”, noted Anne-Marie Boucher, vice president of the École Ensemble. “Yet this is what we are proposing and it is becoming possible,” she added.

Special programs for everyone

The École Ensemble movement also wants to generalize a model already implemented in some secondary schools in the province, namely that of offering free special programs to all students, without selection based on academic results.

According to the data provided a The print by the Ministry of Education, nearly one in four students (23.6%) attending public secondary school is enrolled in a given program in 2020-2021.

The international education program is the most popular, followed by the sports, arts and language programs.

Last week, the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, promised to introduce new measures to make the often expensive special programs more accessible to all.

“Elastic stretched all the way”

This is not enough: funding for subsidized private schools must also be abolished, says Stéphane Vigneault.

“The elastic, we have stretched it all the way. The social acceptability for the schools they select, whether public or private, is no longer there. The people want a fair system, “said Vigneault, who said he hoped political parties would welcome these proposals in the next election campaign.

Parti Québécois MP Véronique Hivon praised the “quality of the proposal” of the École ensemble movement.

“He is really, and very concretely, carrying on the debate on the future of our education system and on equal opportunities, which must be a fundamental pillar,” said the spokesman for his party for education.

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  • 450 405
    Number of upper secondary school students for the 2020-2021 school year

    source: Ministry of Education

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