Jean-Michel Blanquer announced it himself on RTL on Wednesday: he “will transplant” probably not in the Ministry of Education in the next government. From the doubling of classes in priority education, to the reform of the secondary school and the baccalaureate, to the overhaul of teacher education, the track record is as rich as it is contested.
But far from these important decisions for the public education system, Jean-Michel Blanquer also made a whole series of decisions favorable to private education. The budget planned for 2022 confirms this trend, which plans to allocate 8 billion euros, compared to 7.7 billion in 2021 (+3%). The budget allocated to the public primary school will increase by 2% and that of the second stage by 1.5%.
Nine tenths of these expenses ” corresponds to[aient] for direct remuneration of staff”we can read in the budget documents attached to the financing accounts for 2022. The number of teachers in the private sector has thus grown faster between 2017 and 2020 than in the public sector. , the number of teachers in 2020 returned to the level of 2017.
According to the latest edition of “The State of Schools” published by the Ministry of National Education, between 2008 and 2020 they increased by 4.8% in the first grade of the private sector and decreased by only 0.4% in the private sector. secondary education, two more favorable developments than for their public equivalents. However, the number of students enrolled in the private sector has not increased significantly (+0.2% between 2016 and 2020), the decrease in the number of first degree (-2.8%) compensates for the increase in the second degree (+2 .4%).
To these increasing costs must be added the costs resulting from the reduction of the compulsory school age to 3 years, from 6 years earlier, enshrined in the School of Trust Act passed in 2019. This measure is presented as beneficial for combating inequalities, but under the 1959 Debré Act it also creates an obligation for municipalities to fund public primary schools and private schools under contract equally. The costs of private kindergartens, such as the maintenance of the buildings or the specialized territorial agents (Atsem), are now borne by the municipalities.
“It hasn’t changed anything for most families, as 98% of children start school at the age of 3”underlines Caroline Marchand, departmental co-secretary of the SNUipp-FSU. “But everything is played out on a private level. † Cost of the operation: 100 million euros in transfers to the private sector are planned for the 2022 provisional budget of the Ministry of Education.
Another measure announced on September 23 worries the education community: six Catholic institutions have integrated an experiment related to priority education policy. Over the next three years, these private colleges in Marseille, Le Mans, Nantes, Roubaix and Bailleul, along with other public colleges, will receive additional funding. In return, they have to propose educational projects that relate, for example, to oral expression, the control of emotions, language or cultural openness.
As part of an experiment, six Catholic education colleges have benefited from additional funding under priority education since the start of the 2021 school year
This experiment is in line with the recommendations of the report by Pierre Mathiot and Ariane Azéma, submitted in November 2019, in which “the zone” priority education and to allocate additional resources to institutions “case by case”in the form of “local support contracts” (CLA). There are currently three academies (Lille, Aix-Marseille and Nantes) and should be expanded to twelve more at the start of the 2022 school year. But the approach raises questions.
“These six Catholic institutions do not have the same poverty rates, educational level, academic handicap, repetition or exam success as the institutions that fall under the objective criteria that provided the priority institutions map”regrets Grégory Thuizat, departmental co-secretary of the trade union Snes-FSU 93. “And yet they are still a part of it today. †
In “L’état de l’école”, the study department of the Ministry of National Education reminds that not only “private colleges have a more favored social makeup than public colleges”but also that “this trend [est] has been growing since the 2000s. At the same time, students who attend priority schools and colleges have much less assertive learning outcomes than other students. †
Last favor, very recently granted, in response to an urgent request from the private sector: a February 10 decree now authorizes rectors to pay the salaries of “deputies” (equivalent to the private sector’s public “contractors”, these teachers who do not hold the Capes ), taking into account “the professional experience, the rarity of the discipline taught or the specificity of the need to be covered”† This derogation already existed publicly and made it possible to adjust salaries in case of recruitment difficulties.
While the current education minister is seeking a mandate as a deputy alongside Montargis, many educators are concerned that the private sector breach will be further widened by his potential successor.