School fee overhaul forthcoming
The Quebec government intends to improve the school fees framework, from preschool to high school levels. Bill 12 was tabled at the National Assembly on February 21. The Bill would enable the Minister of Education to “clearly indicate, by regulation, the material that should or should not be free.”
This framework requires school boards to ensure that no school asks parents to pay for administrative fees. In the same vein, school boards cannot ask parents to pay for textbooks, dictionaries, arts material and laboratory material.
However, parents of students registered in the sports or arts programs still have to pay extra fees. But these extra fees need to be approved by the school governing board. The Bill’s guidelines indicate that “financial contributions can be required for some services offered for particular educational projects or some school activities.”
With this Bill, the government is setting the standards for transportation and for school daycare services. Noon-hour supervision fees in high schools will be maintained.
Should Bill 12 be passed, the new guidelines would come into effect on July 1, in time for the September return to school. Parents would probably save a few dollars. “This is responsible action to ensure that the money invested in the network goes towards direct services to pupils and not to pay the costs of a class activity,” says the Ministre de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, Jean-François Roberge, in a press release.
Inspired by the January
Between January 7 and 25, the Quebec government held an online public consultation on school fees. Over 33,000 people participated in this consultation. 56.3% of respondents said they were “very satisfied or somewhat satisfied by the current sharing of school fees between the school and the parents.” 57% of the recommendations regarding school daycare services and school transportation indicated that these two services should be free of charge. (Trans.: CB, LR)