Québec City, Québec March 28, 2017 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) recognizes the government exceeded the promised 3.5% increase in education funding, showing that Minister Proulx was listening during the months of consultation and in our discussions.
The budget deposited today promises among other specific items an overall 4.5% increase which translates into $600 million for the education sector. Included is a new investment of $170 million to support preschool, primary, and secondary schools. “This could translate into 150 new direct service positions in the English sector,” stated QESBA President, Jennifer Maccarone. A new allotment of $15 million to better prepare parents and children for the transition to school, as well as an additional $111 million for infrastructure and digital strategies over the next four years, has also been identified.
“We recognize the government continues to invest in education. However, the Association is concerned about how the Ministry intends to distribute and control the funding since the specifics of the spending is not disclosed until we receive the budget rules from MEES,” she continued. “Our hope is that the information will be delivered quickly so Boards can prepare their individual budget plans before the end of the current school year, as well as provide the most flexibility possible,” Ms. Maccarone added.
QESBA also expects the government to continue to work on the serious problems associated with the inequitable school tax rates, as well as access to and approval of vocational education programs. The President continued, “We are also expecting the government to respect the distribution of Entente Canada-Quebec moneys to allow the English community the control of those funds as the program intended.”
QESBA member Boards have always put students’ success first and continue to press the government to recognize the innovation and dedication of our School Boards, administrators, teachers, and staff. “Our network is proud to boast an 86% success rate and is the ultimate proof that the school board system works,” concluded the President.
QESBA represents approximately 100,000 students in the nine English School Boards plus the Littoral School Board and is the voice of English public education in Québec.