Girard budget: even more schools in bad shape

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Despite the large sums invested in recent years, the condition of schools continues to deteriorate: 59% of schools are in disrepair, compared to 56% last year.

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The Legault government continues its previously announced infrastructure investments, mainly for school renovations. According to the Quebec Infrastructure Plan, with barely $190 million added in ten years, a total of $13.1 billion.

The additional sums announced on Tuesday are mainly earmarked for the construction of new schools and the addition of buildings, or 1.2 billion over the next 10 years.

Since coalition avenir Québec came to power in 2018, amounts devoted to school renovation and construction have more than doubled.

However, this increase did not allow the Ministry of Education to meet its target of reducing the proportion of schools in poor condition below 50% by 2023.

Budget documents say that this target is “hardly attainable” despite “significant investments made in recent years”. “It will take time to improve the school building stock,” we added, but no numerical timeline was specified.

In terms of student services, Quebec is improving its syllabus to enable students to catch up with academic delays caused by the pandemic.

The funding awarded will double in 2022-2023 and continue for another four years.

In the context of staff shortages, totals devoted to attracting and retaining employees in the school network total $204 million over five years, almost three times more than announced last year.

Quebec is also injecting additional funds to increase the number of educators in school nursery services and increase accessibility to certain programs, particularly for students in underprivileged areas and sports centres.

The increase from 5.4% in education expenditures planned for the next year will decrease to 3% in 2024-2025.

The budget allocated to higher education, on the other hand, recorded a significant increase by 13.1%. For Quebec, solutions to labor shortages depend in part on CEGEPs and better access to universities.

Financial aid measures for students will be increased by $101 million for next year.

The removal of interest on student loans has been renewed specifically for an additional year in 2022-2023.

To help students graduate, the Legault government is investing $99 million next year to fund various measures.

As several CEGEPs are about to explode, Quebec is adding five expansion projects under review at French-speaking colleges located in Laval, Laurentians, Lanaudière and Montérégie.

As announced, the expansion project of Dawson Anglophone College in Montreal has been withdrawn.

2022-2023 education budget

$275 million (+5.4%) increase, including:

– additional $55 million for tutoring program

– $38 million to fill the school staff shortage

– $37 million for a sport and physical activity action plan

Budget in higher education for 2022-2023

$247 million (+13.1) increase:

– $101 million to improve financial aid measures for students

– $99 million to increase CEGEP and college graduation rates

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