Quebec Education | That win-win for a flat up

In recent weeks, questions about the Quebec education system have returned to the center of the media radar.

Posted at 11:00 am

Franোয়াois Delram

Franোয়াois Delram
Department of Economics, Sherbrooke University

Scientific literature has essentially documented the client-list dynamics that govern our education system. Private schools select their clients based on their academic results or, if necessary, excluding families who cannot afford school fees. In return, public schools are trying to compete with them by increasing the number of special election programs.

Outcome: A three-tier education system where the most advantageous benefits come from the best state of education, including disadvantages or learning difficulties for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The latter are therefore over-represented in the general class, which is then indulged by teachers and families who can afford it.

To address this structural problem of inequality, the École ensemble collectively proposed a new model in its plans for a common school network. We wanted to measure the impact of the planning budget.

The plan provides that the current private school will choose between the two statuses. If they decide to become a contracted private school, they will no longer be able to select their students or charge fees. They will be subsidized like government schools. We have been recognizing the model of Finnish private schools since the 1970s. On the other hand, if they prefer to be a non-conventional private school, they can charge a fee and choose their students, but without it it would be a dollar from the taxpayers. We can recognize the Ontario model here.

The amount of tuition fees will change significantly once public funding for obsolete private schools is exhausted. Fewer Quebec families will send their children there after the tuition fee increases.

This reduction in demand is the starting point of our calculations for determining the impact (additional costs or benefits) of the plan budget. To estimate how many Quebec students will be enrolled in non-contract private schools, we chose to use Ontario statistics as a target, a society comparable to ours where we say private schools are not subsidized. In 2018-2019, 6.3% of students in this province went to private schools, of which 6.7% were in secondary schools and 6% in primary schools.

Subsidized private students currently represent a cost for the state. As a result, there will be savings if you stop subsidizing students outside the general network. It remains to be seen whether these non-customary savings will offset the additional costs associated with the convention.

Our survey indicates that 49.4% of the current 119,932 primary and secondary school students in the private sector will join the general network.

By stopping subsidies to private schools that are not covered by the agreement in 2018-2019, the Quebec government will save $ 513 million.

On the other hand, the cost of education for students going from the current private network to the general network will create an additional cost of 14 414 million.

These results suggest that in the long run, the general network will save Quebec’s treasury around $ 100 million per year.

This figure could be even higher if a larger proportion of students remain in obsolete private schools.

These results are interesting, since we generally view economic problems as a trade-off between equity and efficiency. In other words, we hope to promote the rhyme of equality with the budget deficit for the state. However, our results suggest that this should not be the case.

Furthermore, our analysis does not consider the long-term benefits of a more just society, social but also economic, in which the promotion of equal opportunities constitutes an essential pillar of a school system.

World-renowned economist Thomas Piketty recently reminded us: “What is important for economic prosperity is education and relative equality in education.”

This is a great opportunity for Quebec, as the proposed overhaul seems to be free from compromise between the promotion of fairness and financial efficiency, which nevertheless avoids some decisions of an economic nature.

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