Winds of Change in Quebec Education Act: Now is the time to come out of the shadows
You may remember, HSLDA representative, Manon Fortin, met with the Minister of Education Sebastien Proulx last fall. At that meeting, he clearly stated that his primary goal is to find all unregistered students in the province. At the Minister’s request, HSLDA submitted a report highlighting suggestions and solutions, as well as some of the difficulties and conflicts with school boards experienced by homeschoolers in Quebec, a major reason many homeschoolers are not registered.
Recently, we have been informed that very soon the Minister Sebastien Proulx plans to introduce a bill changing the Education Act, which will include changes to the law on homeschooling. We do not yet know the details, but we are monitoring the situation and we will keep you informed. There will be a consultation process and HSLDA will be a part of that. In the very near future, HSLDA will submit a more detailed report to the Minister outlining specific suggestions to the government to bear in mind when drafting the new law as it impacts homeschooling. To represent you, our members, we plan to be at the forefront. As a well known and respected organization across Canada, we are optimistic and confident that we will be heard.
However, a democracy such as ours works best when individual citizens voice their concerns at appropriate times in an appropriate manner. Many homeschoolers are unregistered and in the shadows to avoid conflict with school boards. This may no longer be possible once new legislation is enacted. It is time to step up and let your concerns be known. Families who have lobbied at the school board level – either individually alongside HSLDA, or in a group, such as with Western Quebec and Lester B. Pearson – to protest unfair policies have seen the difference they can make when they stand together and voice their concerns. Soon, we will need to stand together and voice our concerns on a larger scale to our local MNAs and ask them to support homeschooling throughout this law-making process. As you know, more voices means more clout at the government level. Each letter represents 100 votes in the eyes of the government, so the entire Quebec homeschooling community contacting their MNAs will have a major impact.
Whether you have been homeschooling for years, or only for a few months, whether you homeschool all of your children or just one of them, whether you have short term or long term homeschool plans — if you want to preserve the freedom of curriculum and evaluation choices for homeschooling for now and for the future, it is essential to inform your MNA of your concerns so that they are aware of what is at stake when the bill is presented.
We will assist our members in locating their MNAs and their contact information. We are in the process of drafting a suggested template for emails and letters, and will offer proofreading services to those who want it.
In a few days, we will communicate these details to you as we move forward together in the next exciting chapter of homeschooling in Quebec.