|EMSB CALLS UPON LIBERAL GOVERNMENT TO REINSTATE FUNDING IN EDUCATION BUDGET|
MONTREAL, JUNE 18, 2003- Despite a pledge not to make any cuts in education and assertions that "system costs" were fully provided for, the new Quebec Liberal government’s consultative funding parameters released in last week’s budget show major funding decreases for the province’s public school boards.
If the government’s spending plans are not reversed, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) stands to lose $2,379,000 in funding. The EMSB is scheduled to adopt its 2003-2004 budget on Wednesday, June 25.
"There is a flaw in this process," stated EMSB Chairman Dr. John Simms. "Why did the Quebec Liberal Party promise not to touch the education budget? Why did it create this expectation and then, on the eve of when every public school board in Quebec must adopt a budget, introduce these major compressions? We have all been placed in an impossible position."
The budget parameters were released last Friday and the consultation period ends on June 27, two days after the EMSB budget is scheduled to be tabled.
A careful analysis of the compressions by the EMSB Financial Services Department shows the breakdown of the $2,379,000 as follows:
The EMSB is calling upon the Quebec government to reinstate this funding. Failing to do so will have a very negative impact on the students in the system. EMSB officials, along with those from other boards, will be in Quebec City tomorrow for previously scheduled meetings with the Ministry of Education to discuss last week’s budget.
Michael J. Cohen