Great concern for the future of Noës’ school

They say they are “rebellious”, “disappointed” but above all very “concerned”. For families, the start of the 2022 school year is far from serene. This small rural school, which will accommodate 14 children in one class this year, is under threat in the short or medium term. If a compromise could be found for this start of the school year, there are indeed many uncertainties about what will happen next. Questions from parents, looking for answers.

“We do not understand what is happening to us. We were on the road without disturbing anyone and suddenly there are complications. We have written the President of the Republic and we do not feel helped by anyone “, observe several parents, who plan to take the competent authorities to respond.

At the heart of the problem are two main problems:. The first concerns: the cost of running this facility which would be too heavy for the finances of the municipality, which, after agreement with the General Directorate of Public Finances and National Education, decided to refocus on school activities and no longer provide extracurricular activities such as canteen and childcare. A temporary solution has been found with the Sou des écoles which will take over in a few weeks. “Of course we have a little money in the account, but we will not be able to bear the financial burden for years,” notes Violaine Cote, treasurer of de Sou and also elected member of the congregation. “We will do everything we can not to empty the treasury in a few months and we hope that the town hall can resume its role soon”.

Because, if the parents recognize the reality of the municipality’s financial difficulties, they believe that the adjustment variable should not be the school setting. “There is a shortcut between financial difficulties, with the fear of possible management by the municipality, and the fact that the school would cost too much. The town hall completely separates itself from the school”, estimate these parents for whom other ways of saving.

Second reason for anger, the disappearance this year of the deviation that allows the care of schoolchildren in the middle section, “without any real explanation”. “However, with the School of Confidence, the care of children from the age of three is mandatory. We would not even need a derogation,” analyzes Sarah Guillet, whose little girl was unable to return to school here on Thursday.

“The loss of this anomaly necessarily affects the staff,” note the parents who want to believe in the future of this school.

Next year, five students will join the college, but three children will join the major section.

For these reasons, Wednesday evening, the day before the start of the school year, a rally was organized, where about a hundred people gathered. “It showed that the villagers are very attached to this establishment. A school in a village is fundamental. Loss is the loss of dynamism,” notes Sarah Guillet. “We will continue to mobilize.” This is how a new action was organized next Friday September 2 in the morning in front of the gate of the establishment. Families also reserve the right to appeal to the administrative court. Wednesday evening demonstration.

“We are at least a year back”
On the side of the town hall, Mayor Stéphane Raphaël recalls that the city “has no desire to close the school”, “a school in a small town is very important”, but he acknowledges that its future is not assured. “We have spent a lot of time working with the Directorate General of Public Finance (DGfip) and National Education to try to find a stopgap solution for this year. If we had to keep taking over the whole school operation, we would need 42,000 to 43,000 euros for 2023, while our property tax yields us only 16,000 euros per year. We have therefore decided to focus again on purely school activities”. The deviation for the middle part has also been deleted. “That’s not the crux of the problem. We tried together to find a solution that satisfied the state, the national education and the community.. Admittedly, it’s not permanent at all, but at least we’ll be back for a year,” underlines the elected official who wants to be able to exchange “in a peaceful climate”. “We are all being attacked as we try to find solutions . We need to keep working together to move in the right direction“.
What about the future and municipal finances? “It is very difficult today to take stock of the context for next year. We have been sounding the alarm bells on finance for years. We will especially have to look at how the state can help financially support the contracts of school staff. “.
A new meeting is planned with the Dgfip in January.

The school will remain open in September

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