Compulsory education from 3 years: what about financial compensation for municipalities?

On the occasion of the kindergarten assizes, held on March 27 and 28, 2018, the President of the Republic announced the reduction of compulsory education to 3 years. This commitment was expressed in the law of 26 July 2019 for a school of trust, Article 11 of which lays down compulsory education for children aged 3 to 5. This measure extends the powers of the municipalities, which must therefore give rise to financial support from the State. For example, Article 17 of the Law of 26 July 2019 provides for an allocation of funds to municipalities that recorded an increase in their compulsory expenditure in the 2019-2020 school year compared to that of the 2018-2019 school year as a result of the extension of compulsory education. up to 3 years. A decree and a decision of 30 December 2019 set the conditions for the allocation of these funds.

In a written question, Senator Pierre-Jean Verzelen (Aisne – Les Indépendants) questioned the Minister for Territorial Cohesion and Relations with Local Authorities of the previous Government, Jacqueline Gourault, about the compensation promised by the State for the consequences financial resources for local authorities compulsory education from 3 years. According to this parliamentarian, “some municipalities were more than surprised to see that the compensation from the State did not live up to the promises of the government”. Pierre-Jean Verzelen cites a town in his department, Liesse, as an example. Due to this new financial burden, he should have received almost 10,000 euros in his budget, but only received 387 euros, the senator reports.

Expenditure eligible for state financial support is new operating costs directly arising from the extension of compulsory education, the ministry recalls in its response published in the JO Senate of 12 May 2022. This form of support has also been validated by the Constitutional Council.

With the lowering of the compulsory school age, each municipality of residence is now obliged to pay for the operating costs of private primary and pre-primary education for pupils residing in its territory and under the same conditions as for the corresponding classes of public education. base classes under an association contract with the state. In this regard, each community could apply to its Rectorate for the allocation of funds for the 2019-2020 school year by September 30, 2021, if it could justify a general increase in its expenditure. for its public and private elementary and kindergarten classes with respect to the 2018-2019 school year. An increase in expenditure in the kindergarten classes, offset by a reduction in expenditure in the basic classes, thus made it impossible to identify an overall increase in compulsory household expenditure that could give rise to an allocation of resources.

The community wishing to receive financial support from the state must also justify an increase in its compulsory operating costs for its public and private pre-school classes under contract of association for the 2019-2020 school year compared to the previous school year. Also, municipalities that already paid a municipal lump sum before the 2019-2020 school year could not rely on an allocation of resources from the State because the expenditure was already compulsory, except, where appropriate, if an increase in the compulsory expenditure had been made. linked to the extra number of students aged 3 to 5, the ministry says.

“Each municipality was therefore supported with regard to its situation in accordance with the allocation conditions established by the law, the decree and the above-mentioned decree,” emphasizes the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion and Relations with the Local Authorities. More specifically, as regards the application for funding submitted for the 2019-2020 school year by the Intermunicipal School Union of Liesse, Marchais and Missy, an additional survey carried out by the services of the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports shows, that this community, which has created a municipal package for the education of pupils in private kindergartens on the basis of an association contract for the 2019-2020 school year, is eligible for a total financial support of 3,427 euros . As a result, a corrective notice will be sent to this community and an additional payment will be made, the ministry concludes.

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