03/14/2014 10:10 EDT | Updated 05/14/2014 05:59 EDT

CAQ would hire 500 child specialists to prevent drop outs

Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault says his government would invest $40 million to reducing Quebec's secondary school drop out rate. 

"There are still areas in Quebec that have a drop out rate of 40 and 50 per cent. It’s dramatic and it’s unacceptable if we believe in the slightest that there should be equality of opportunity in Quebec.”

Legault said his government would implement a strategy that focuses on children of all ages in order to prevent drop outs. He said by diagnosing children with learning difficulties before they start school, educators can reach out and provide the support necessary to prevent anyone from falling behind.

- Spend $28 million to hire 500 specialists (psychologists, psycho-educators) to work with young children in daycares.

- Spend $6 million to implement a system of tutoring for secondary schools.

- Spend $6 million to add 120 guidance councillor positions to secondary schools.

The CAQ leader said Quebec falls behind the rest of Canada when it comes to high school graduation rates.

Legault has criticized other parties for committing to spend money they don't have, but he said he's making an exception for Quebec's education system — the foundation of the province's future.