Bill 86, An Act to modify the organization of school boards | Protecteur du Citoyen
February 16, 2016

Bill 86, An Act to modify the organization of school boards

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The Québec Ombudsman conveyed its comments to the Committee on Culture and Education concerning Bill 86, An Act to modify the organization and governance of school boards to give schools a greater say in decision-making and ensure parents’ presence within each school board’s decision-making body​. The comments deal with two subjects: access to education for children with a precarious immigration status, and home schooling.

Children with a precarious immigration status

The Ombudsperson notes the Bill’s amendments concerning extension of free access to preschool, elementary and secondary education to every child who is living in Québec, by limiting exclusions to three categories of students who are not residents of Québec. This proposal is in line with a recommendation in a previous report by the Québec Ombudsman, which pointed out that some children living in Québec are deprived of free access to public education because of their precarious immigration status.

Home schooling

The Ombudsperson also said she is satisfied to see that the Bill proposes amendments that would empower the student ombudsman in each school board to receive and handle complaints about home schooling supervision and follow up. Furthermore, student ombudsmen will be able to mediate between parents and school authorities. Note that in April 2015, the Ombudsperson said that she was concerned about the disparities in how school authorities supervise and follow up on homeschooled children’s learning.

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