Last week, Geneva’s government changed the rules on who qualifies for primary schooling in the canton. Currently, if there is room for children living outside the canton (usually in France or the canton of Vaud) they are accepted.
Schools are managed at a municipal level and in some communes (municipalities) they are overflowing. François Longchamp, president of the canton’s States Council told the newspaper Tribune de Genève, that it is not easy to know in advance how many pupils will want a place the following year under the current system. In December, the communes of Troinex and Bardonnex warned the canton they were struggling and made a request to have some cross-border kids schooled in other communes, according to the newspaper. The percentages of children residing in France and going to primary schools in Troinex (19.5%) and Bardonnex (12.1%) are high.
In total, 1,900 children from outside the canton are schooled in Geneva. And while many live in France, 84% of them are Swiss nationals.
The new more restrictive rules will allow only those cross-border kids already at school in Geneva, and their siblings, to attend one of the canton’s schools. The new rules will apply from the beginning of the school year starting in 2019.
François Longchamp said that that the parents of children living in Geneva cannot choose any school in the canton. They must send their children to the school closest to home. The canton doesn’t see why any parent should be able to choose a particular school in Geneva out of convenience.