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Premier calls for French schools in Quebec to follow English lead

WATCH ABOVE: As the Liberal Party convention came to a close Sunday, it was back to square one for the government as it looks to draft a bill that will increase the province's graduation rate. There is conclusive research on how the problem could be fixed, but as Raquel Fletcher reports, that may not be enough.

DRUMMONDVILLE, Que.– The government did an about turn on school board reform, announcing Friday they were scrapping their school board reform, Bill 86.

Now they have decided to follow the lead of some of the bill’s biggest critics.

WATCH: School boards voice concerns at Bill 86 hearings

“We need to say to our English-speaking fellow Quebecers that the way they did things, the way they conducted their school boards and their schools is the way to go for all Quebecers,” Premier Philippe Couillard said to Liberal delegates in his closing speech Sunday afternoon at the Liberal Party’s bi-annual Conseil General in Drummondville.

Quebec’s English schools have a higher student success rate than French schools.

READ MORE: Quebec government needs to intervene to increase graduation rate: expert

Couillard told reporters: “I want our communities to show the same level of involvement in our school system as does the English community. I think also this is one of the key reasons for their success.”

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He was careful to also add, “Some of our French school boards also have similar rates of success so I don’t want this to be a complete linguistic divide here.”

The premier said while the Liberal Party has always held education as a main priority, their focus on improving the education system comes now because of the balanced budget.

“We have money to invest because we have achieved fiscal balance,” he said.