Quebec tables bill that cracks down on illegal schools
Published Friday, June 9, 2017 6:08PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 9, 2017 6:09PM EDT
The provincial government is taking action against unlawful religious schools and ensuring home-schooled students follow the curriculum.
On Friday Education Minister tabled Bill 144 which would guarantee all children in Quebec get the education they deserve.
The bill gives children who are home schooled more support while giving the ministry more power to ensure government education standards are respected.
Part of that power will be the ability to levy fines of up to $60,000, the power to close establishments, and even the ability to remove children from their families.
That will include allowing agents to "penetrate" and "inspect" establishments to ensure children are getting proper educations.
Two years ago the government came to an agreement with a Jewish private school that was considered illegal because it didn't follow the province's approved curriculum.
Under the agreement parents signed their children up with a school board and were home schooled instead, and the English Montreal School Board helped the parents teach courses.
Since then some 700 students from the Hassidic community in Outremont are now following the Quebec curriculum,
Abraham Ekstein of the Assn. of Jewish Home Schools said he is pleased with the agreement.
"There was a difficulty for our community to reconcile our education which we have the right to give in accordance to our religion and traditions while at the same time respecting the law," said Ekstein.
"We are proud that we found a solution, a way to reconcile those difficulties."
Part of the bill will also ensure children without residency status -- illegal immigrants -- get schooling.
"We have children who, in my opinion, should not have to pay a price for their parents' situation," said Proulx.
Proulx said he hopes Bill 144 will be adopted later this year.