Special school programs: the PLQ promises free

Special school programs: the PLQ promises free

To give parents some breathing room, the Quebec Liberal Party is promising free education for special education programs in public schools, up to $5,000 a year. A commitment that, according to Dominique Anglade’s education, will cost $425 million a year.

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Passing through Saint-Agapit in the Lotbinière MRC, the head of the PLQ, Dominique Anglade, said that too many families had to make sacrifices to enable their children to participate in certain educational projects.

If she takes power, she promises to open access for sports studies, art studies, and science studies.

The promise was unveiled on the platform earlier this year. This time it’s billed at $425 million per year. The training estimates that the number of students who could participate in this type of program could reach 350,000.

The PLQ agrees to pay up to $5,000 per child. This is another measure of the “Portfolio Plan” unveiled by Ms Anglade’s founding on Monday.

“The choice of course should not be tied to the parents’ salary. Unfortunately, too often families cannot afford their child to attend a concentration or physical education course because it costs too much,” says Dominique Anglade. “Money should never be an obstacle to the talents of our young people. We want to offer all students the same chances of success while at the same time relieving the burden on families who are suffering from the consequences of rising living costs.”

With this announcement, the chair wants to give her campaign new impetus after a bad start in the region of the state capital. She said yesterday that she would pick up the pace.

For this announcement, Ms. Anglade was joined by Marwah Rizqy and Fred Beauchemin, two members of her economics team. Normand Côté, Lotbinière-Frontenac’s candidate, was also present.

Beyond the CAQ

Last June, the CAQ government announced that access to certain educational programs would become free for more than 60% of participants thanks to an investment of nearly $30 million.

Since the beginning of the 2022 school year, fees for all special education programs such as physical education and the various specializations have been free up to a maximum of US$200. A measure that, according to the PLQ, does not have enough bite.

Much more expensive

According to the liberal Marwah Rizqy, there are currently two public-network education systems.

“I was there when we studied Bill 12. It was the first time in Quebec’s history that we put it in black and white that it was legal to charge parents for special education. You have to know that it’s really expensive. It can vary from $1 to $14,000,” the Saint-Laurent representative-elect described. “Hockey costs $4,000. There are many parents who cannot pay for their children (…) That is sad. All children should have the same opportunities. The public system cannot have a two-speed system.”

Training takes the example of Pointe-Levy High School in Lévis, where the soccer program costs $1,650, baseball $2,650, synchronized swimming and triathlon $3,400.

In 2020-2021, 154,000 students were enrolled in fee-based programs, the PLQ reports. But 214,000 were enrolled in free programs.

The Liberal leader is going to Sherbrooke today to campaign. She will first stop at Carrefour de l’Estrie before heading to the Delta Hotel in Sherbrooke for a militant rally. She will end the evening in the La Cage restaurant.