Montreal Jewish Day Schools Sign Agreement on Government Financial Aid

Jewish education officials reported today that agreement had been reached in principal on contracts with Jewish day schools here under which the schools will receive Quebec governmental financial aid covering most of the per pupil costs of education under a new provincial law.

Representatives of the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal reached the general agreement in current negotiations for affiliation on the schools with the school board. Bill 37, which has been in effect since last July 1, permits private educational institutions to be affiliated with the “public” school systems in Quebec, via coordination of activities and finances. Under the confessional system of elementary and secondary education in the province, “public” schools are under either Protestant or Catholic auspices.

Once an “umbrella” agreement has been completed, details would remain to be worked out individually between each day school and the board. The individual agreements would then have to be sent to the provincial Education Minister for approval. It was noted that the Minister has not yet given approval to an agreement reached last fall between the Talmud Torah in Chomedey and the Greater St. Martin School Board.

The officials expressed the hope that the Montreal agreements would be retroactive to last January 1. Bill 37 provides funds only for the secular portions of the day school’s operations. Parents would still bear the responsibility for the Jewish portion of the curriculum. However, only about five percent of the curriculum is in the non-secular category of day schools which provide Hebrew or religious instruction, the officials said.

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