Bill 12, intended to clarify the scope of the right to free education and to set guidelines for certain financial contributions that could be required, was introduced in the National Assembly on February 21, 2019. It proposes that new rules come into effect as of July 1, 2019, as the school system will soon be starting to plan activities and lists of materials for next year in order to notify parents as quickly as possible.
The bill proposes that the Minister may specify, by regulation, the services provided as part of special pedagogical projects and those educational activities for which a financial contribution may be required. It redefines the scope of the right to free educational materials and allows the Minister to specify, by regulation, which materials are to be provided free of charge.
Concretely, if the bill is adopted, school boards will have to ensure that no school asks parents to pay administrative or registration fees. Similarly, parents cannot be asked to pay for such items as school textbooks, dictionaries, arts and crafts materials or materials required for laboratory activities.
However, parents may be asked to cover the cost of school and personal supplies and the costs associated with special pedagogical projects that are offered in addition to regular education. Each school will have to have these costs approved by its governing board.