Letter from QESBA to premier Pauline Marois

(FRENCH VERSION SENT TO THE PREMIER ON DECEMBER 17, 2012)

MONTREAL, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ -

December 17, 2012

Madame Pauline Marois
Première Ministre
Hôtel du Parlement
1045, rue des Parlementaires, bureau 2.93
Québec (Québec)  G1A 1A4

Madame la Première Ministre,

I write to you at the instruction of the Board of Directors of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) to express to you in the strongest possible terms our opposition to the decision by your government in its November 20th budget to remove some $200 million from government support for public education through reductions in equalization payments. As the attached resolution will attest, this measure will undoubtedly compromise the ability of our member boards and those of our partners at the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec to deliver the quality services our students have come to expect.

It is our hope that you will convene in short order a meeting of the Table Québec-Commissions scolaires to work towards a fiscal pact for public education that will better ensure the health and stability of public education funding at a time of necessary fiscal austerity.

Our school boards are committed to working with your government to deliver quality public education across Quebec, recognizing our role in addressing the current financial challenges we must face together. That kind of collaboration, however, requires a realistic and stable framework for public school funding and a high level of mutual trust and support. In order to meet those important objectives, QESBA believes it essential that the Table be convened and that a new fiscal pact for public education be entrenched.

We look forward to your prompt response to this letter.

Sincerely,

David C. D'Aoust
President

c.c.   The Cabinet
All members of the National Assembly
Members of the media
Mme Josée Bouchard, présidente, la Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec

Unofficial extract of the non-adopted minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors
of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) held in Montreal on
Friday, December 14th, 2012, at which there was quorum.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS the government, in its budget of November 20, 2012 has announced a major reduction in equalization payments on school taxes that will effectively remove $200 million from the financing of school boards for the 2013-2014 school year, an estimated cut of $20 million to nine member boards of the Quebec English School Boards Association;

WHEREAS the government has unrealistically suggested that school boards either recover this tax revenue directly through school-tax increases or through administrative cuts that will not affect student services;

WHEREAS these cuts are to be imposed after close to $500 million has already been removed from public school funding over the past three years through successive budget cuts - the negative impact of which has surely been felt by students at every level of the system;

WHEREAS school boards have demonstrated a greater level of administrative efficiency than any government or para-public sector and it would thus be impossible to fully protect student services from "administrative cuts" of this magnitude;

WHEREAS the imposition of this proposed reduction in equalization will only create new inequities by affecting some boards and taxpayers more than others; and

WHEREAS the impact of this measure will drastically hamper the ability of Quebec's public school boards to deliver accessible, innovative and quality educational services to the students who attend public schools across Quebec;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Quebec English School Boards Association register its opposition in the strongest possible terms to the imposition of this unwarranted, inequitable and unprecedented attack on the funding of public education in the province; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the government convene a Table Québec-Commissions scolaires to work towards a fiscal pact for public education that will better ensure the health and stability of public education funding at a time of necessary fiscal austerity.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President of QESBA send a copy of this resolution to the Premier of the province, members of Cabinet, all members of the National Assembly, the President of the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec as well as the media.

(Moved by Ginette Sauvé-Frankel and approved unanimously.)

SOURCE: Quebec English School Boards Association

For further information:

Kim Hamilton
Director of Communications and Special
514-919-3894

Profil de l'entreprise

Quebec English School Boards Association

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