Newspaper article The Canadian Press

English Private Schools Say Quebec Admission Rules Limit Access to Students

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

English Private Schools Say Quebec Admission Rules Limit Access to Students

Article excerpt

English private schools in Quebec frustrated


MONTREAL - Some private English-language schools in Montreal are so frustrated with Quebec's language law regarding student admission they are considering refusing an annual government subsidy and going entirely private.

That would allow private English schools to bypass Bill 101 -- Quebec's language law -- and give them a larger applicant pool to choose from, including the richest francophone students.

But doing so could also alter the makeup of English private schools because many of their students receive loans and grants, and schools forgoing the subsidy would likely push tuition to levels accessible only to the richest of the rich in Quebec.

"Yes, there are some (English) private schools that are likely going to consider dropping the subsidies," said a well-placed source with ties to the province's English-language network of private schools.

A second source close to the network confirmed a handful of institutions are considering giving up the subsidy.

One is The Study, according to Susan Orr-Mongeau, director of communications for the all-girls school in the wealthy Montreal enclave of Westmount.

Most of Quebec's English-language private schools receive about $4,500 per high school student a year. They do not receive subsidies for elementary students. By accepting money, they must abide by the province's French Language Charter.

Immigrant students from outside Canada and francophones whose parents went to French school are barred from attending subsidized English schools in Quebec.

However, for years, immigrants and some francophones used a loophole in the legislation and sent their kids to private English elementary school for one year, thus earning the eligibility requirement to continue attending English school.

Quebec cracked down on the so-called "bridge schools" several years ago but in 2009 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the province's laws were unconstitutional.

Therefore, in 2010, Quebec introduced a complicated point system that allows students to attend a private, English-language subsidized high school only if they receive a minimum of 15 points during their primary education.

However, students can receive 15 points only if they attend what's known as an "A" private English school. …

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