Posted on May 16, 2017

St. Albert School Fee Concerns

Two years ago, our government ran on a platform commitment to reduce the burden of school fees on Alberta families. We've taken action this spring by introducing Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees. The Bill has been passed in and will be in effect for the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year.

This Bill will save Alberta families more than $54 million dollars by eliminating specific instructional supplies and material fees for the parents of nearly 600,000 Alberta students. Starting this fall, for example, paying for textbooks, workbooks, printing and paper costs incurred by schools will be a thing of the past. It will also remove busing fees charged to 145,000 students who attend their designated school, and live outside of the School Act’s defined walk limit.

My staff and I have been contacted by several constituents who worry that some fees - such as transportation for students not covered by Bill 1- will be increased by school boards as a result of this legislation. I have raised this matter with the Minister of Education,David Eggen.

To address these concerns, Minister Eggen will be approving every school board’s fee schedule for this upcoming school year. The focus of this review is on reducing the burden of school fees on Albertans, in keeping with the goal of Bill 1. Should a board propose school or transportation fee increases on students that Bill 1 does not cover, they must provide the Minister with a rigorous analysis and justification prior to his consideration.

If you are a St. Albert resident who has questions or concerns about this issue, please feel free to contact my constituency office at 780-459-9113 or St.Albert@assembly.ab.ca.