Economic study on public funding of private education - The FCSQ calls on the government of Quebec for an in-depth review
QUEBEC, June 26, 2014 / CNW Telbec / - The Federation of Quebec School Boards (FCSQ) is asking the Quebec government to review public funding for private education, to restore tax fairness between parents of the public and of the private sector and to increase the administrative and accountability requirements that must be imposed on the 181 subsidized private institutions, mainly concentrated in Montreal, Montérégie and the Capitale-Nationale.
This request, unanimously adopted at the FCSQ's general assembly, occurs following the filing of the conclusions of a study carried out on behalf of the FCSQ by researcher and professor Valérie Vierstraete of the University of Sherbrooke. This study reveals that the public network is more efficient than the private subsidized educational establishments, and it is in the public that we invest the most for the training of the students: “The expenditure relating to education was in 2011-2012 , the reference year of the study, of 7,157 $ per student in our network while they are only 5,888 $ in the private sector, this shows that school boards have chosen to invest more in direct services students. »Said Josée Bouchard, president of the FCSQ.
Administrative expenses: 4.76 % to the public, 13.32 % to the private
The study, not surprisingly, confirms the good performance of school boards in terms of administrative expenses, which only represented 4.76 TP1T of their budget. On the other hand, this same study highlights that the share of total administrative expenditure in the private sector was, in 2011-2012, of 13.32 %. "This observation should challenge us, because it is largely public money since private establishments receive for their students 60 % of funding from a public student" specified the president.
In the same logic of financing private institutions with public funds, the study notes a clear imbalance between the administrative and accountability requirements demanded by the Quebec government from the public network compared to the private one. For Josée Bouchard, “these are two worlds, because it seems that only school boards are subject to accountability to the population when no reason, in our opinion, should exempt the private sector from doing so. "
Private daycare costs: a potential saving of 5,000 $ in tax credit
Beyond public funding, the study reveals many tax advantages for parents who send their children to the private sector. Among these, tax credits for child care expenses. Thus, a couple with 2 children and a total income of 80,000 $ can expect, for tuition fees and childcare costs totaling 7,000 $, a tax saving of 5,000 $, for a net cost of approximately 2000 $. The study also recalls that to these indirect costs for the State are added federal and provincial tax credits for donations made to private establishments estimated at an amount varying between 16 M$ and 24 M$.
Decrease in subsidies to the private sector: no costs, but savings for the State
In various scenarios considered in this study, the reduction in subsidies to private educational institutions would not result in a cost for the Quebec government, as is commonly believed, but in savings for the latter varying from 65 M$ (reduction from 20 %) to 185 M$ annually (total withdrawal of subsidies). For Josée Bouchard, “we are not asking the government to end private funding, we simply want it to quickly look into this issue on the basis of this credible study. In addition, we remain convinced that in the event of a decrease in public to private funding, there would not necessarily be a major impact of student migration to the public, which was however considered in the study. "
The study recalls that there are only 4 other provinces in Canada that fund private educational institutions, but that it is in Quebec that we find the highest percentage of students, i.e. close to 13. % compared to about 7 % elsewhere in the country. This high percentage is all the more questioning given that the total school enrollment in Quebec has decreased by 12 % since 2001-2002.
The study on public financing of private education is available at the following link: http://www.fcsq.qc.ca/
The Federation of Quebec School Boards brings together the vast majority of French-language school boards in Quebec as well as the Commission scolaire du Littoral. School boards are local governments that ensure the academic success of more than one million students by providing educational services at the elementary, secondary, vocational training and adult levels. They also offer efficient and essential services, particularly in terms of human resources and material and financial resources. In addition, school boards are responsible for distributing resources equitably between their establishments and making safe school transportation accessible at all times.
SOURCE Federation of Quebec School Boards (FCSQ)
FCSQ study on the financing of private schools - Facts to rectify
MONTREAL, June 26, 2014 / CNW Telbec / - First of all, the Federation of Private Educational Institutions (FEEP) is surprised that the Federation of Quebec School Boards (FCSQ) is using taxpayers' money to finance a study on the financing of private education. In addition, the FEEP wonders about the data presented today by the FCSQ which contains certain errors.
First of all, contrary to what the FCSQ says, the public funding of private schools has been the subject of much debate for 50 years. It is surprising that the FCSQ, which initiated several of these debates, does not remember them. She could have referred to the rigorous studies of F. Larose (Université de Sherbrooke, 2013), P. Fortin (UQAM, 2013), B. Vermot-Desroches (UQTR, 2007), B. Massé (Université de Montréal, 2005) or to all of the research carried out by R. Marceau from ÉNAP.
- Administrative expenses: two different visions of student supervision
When we talk about administrative costs, we are comparing apples and pears here. In fact, the study presented by the FCSQ only counts the administrative expenses of school boards and omits the administrative staff who work in the schools. In the private sector, all the administrative staff work in the school, with the students.
- Education expenses: two realities
Subsidized private schools are non-profit organizations managed by a community of individuals who have their educational project at heart. All the money received by the school must be invested in its educational mission. According to data from the Federation, a third of member schools cannot pay their staff on the same basis as that of public schools, their budgetary situation not allowing them to do so, which has a direct consequence on the expenditure of this service.
- No tax benefits for private school tuition fees
The tax benefits granted to parents relate to childcare costs, not school fees. All parents of young children have access to this family-work balance measure. It is important to inform parents that tuition fees paid to the private school are not eligible for a tax credit.
- Parents' ability to pay: a real limit
Parents who opt for private school make the choice to bear the bulk of their children's school fees while funding public school by paying their taxes and school tax. The studies on this subject, cited above, indicate that parents' ability to pay is limited and that an increase in tuition fees of the order of 1000$ per year would cause students to move to the public sector and reverse any reduction in tuition fees. government spending. The data mentioned in the study carried out for the FCSQ differ surprisingly from those of the aforementioned studies.
- Is the State contribution really 60 %?
The State pays subsidized private schools 60 % of what it pays to school boards for educational costs. Including all the necessary expenses, including those for buildings for which the entire charge is assumed by the private school, the State contribution is in fact 42 % (MELS 2012-2013 data) and this rate drops to 38 % taking into account the school tax to which private schools are not entitled.
- Access to private school for pupils in difficulty
The study presented by the FCSQ contains significant gaps in the understanding and interpretation of data on students in difficulty. In fact, 2.7 % of students in the private school network attend one of the twelve schools specializing in special education. In addition, according to MELS data, regular private schools welcome more than 10 % of students who have difficulties. These students have access to programs and measures tailored to their needs to help them succeed. Most private schools do not receive any government assistance to fund these programs and measures.
The performance of independent schools, an irritant for school boards
"The existence of a parallel network of independent, non-profit schools that show excellent results in terms of supervision, student graduation and academic success is obviously an irritant for the Federation of School Boards," explains Mr. Jean-Marc St-Jacques, president of FEEP. If the directors of public schools are asking for more autonomy, it is because they know that the autonomous school model works well. "
“We believe that the model of an independent private school, managed by a non-profit organization, funded in part by the State which exercises control over the programs and the language of instruction, represents an interesting model, particularly in a context where Quebec is faced with difficult budgetary decisions. "
To put an end to the wars of numbers
The FEEP asked the education ministers Courchesne, Beauchamp, Malavoy and Bolduc to carry out a comparative study of the cost of a pupil attending a private educational establishment and that of a pupil attending the public, regardless of the cost. source of funding, in order to paint a rigorous picture of the situation. Despite repeated promises that this would happen, this analysis is long overdue.
The private school: an economy for the State and the taxpayers
"It is illusory to think that the disappearance of the subsidized private school will allow the State to save money," concludes Mr. St-Jacques. Tuition fees paid by the parents of students attending private schools represent a significant financial contribution to the Quebec education system. If the subsidized private schools lose some of their students and close, the public schools will have to deal with a greater number of students who will have to be financed 100 % by the taxpayers. "
About the Federation of Private Educational Institutions
The Federation of Private Educational Institutions is a non-profit organization that brings together 190 independent institutions attended by some 110,000 students spread across Quebec, or about 12 % of the school population in Quebec. The members of the Federation offer services to preschool, elementary and secondary students in the areas of general and vocational training and special education.
SOURCE Federation of Private Educational Institutions