June 4, 2014

Quebec City, June 4, 2014 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) is concerned about the likely impact of today’s provincial budget on English public school classrooms across Quebec. While the budget projects a rise in education system cost expenditures of 1.2 per cent overall (which represents roughly $12 million for the English sector), we estimate that 2.9 percent would have been necessary to maintain current services (roughly $170.00 per student).

“We realize that all public institutions in Québec must reduce expenses to offset the provincial deficit,” said QESBA President David D’Aoust. “But we are worried for our schools and students given this continuous reduction in school board funding– we must cover actual basic system costs and we estimate that to accomplish this we need an overall 2.9 per cent increase.

“The budgetary rules will offer a more detailed portrait but if we want to maintain current services and meet system costs we have to be given a little leeway within the budget rules,” continued D’Aoust.  “It is imperative that budget rules take into account all these realities that we, as an education community, face so that we can inject much needed oxygen in our system and maintain the same level of services to students.”

The budget deposited today also referred to limiting taxation increases; according to the document deposited the government will deposit a Bill in the fall dealing with the 2015-2016 school year.  “QESBA hopes that this government will examine a fixed tax rate to be established by region based on a similar formula used by the Comité de gestion de l’ile de Montreal. They were the only unaffected school boards in last years tax increase. That tells us that a stable taxation system is possible.” Concluded D’Aoust.

“QESBA is the voice of English public education in Quebec.”