Status: Bill 8 passed July 3, 2019
Ministry responsible: Education

Overview

Bill 8: The Education Amendment Act, updates the Education Act, which was passed in 2012 after widespread consultation, but was not brought into force.

The amended Education Act will improve student success, strengthen parental rights, enhance local decision-making for school boards, increase education choice and improve accountability within the system.

Key changes

Amendments in Bill 8 ensure some of the current rules are carried over to the Education Act to provide certainty to families and educators, including:

  • age students can access K-12 education (up to 19 years of age)
  • compulsory age of attendance (16 years)
  • residency rules based on the custodial parent
  • student transportation
  • leadership certification implementation
  • restriction on charging school fees for specific instructional supplies and materials
  • superintendent compensation rules
  • standardized age of entry to kindergarten to come into effect September 1, 2020

Bill 8 will also:

  • enhance parental rights by establishing a policy respecting the resolution of disputes at the school level between parents and school staff
  • increase education choice by removing the  cap on  charter schools in the province
  • allow school jurisdictions to provide alternative programs outside of their geographic boundary
  • allow students to create inclusion groups, including GSAs and QSAs and ensure students’ privacy is protected under privacy legislation (FOIP and PIPA)
  • give school electors the choice of which school board to vote for or run in
  • increase the accountability and oversight of private and charter school authorities to ensure they are delivering high-quality education to students
  • give the minister the ability to cancel or suspend the registration or accreditation of a private school if the financial administration of the school places the learning environment of students at risk
  • give school boards more autonomy to decide their own electoral ward and subdivision structure

For more information, read the What is Changing document. (PDF, 778 KB)

Next steps

The amended Education Act will come into effect September 1, 2019.