Education rights

Learn about Alberta K to 12 education rights and how separate school districts are established.


Alberta offers universally accessible education. Parents have the right to choose the kind of education they feel will be best for their children. The Choice in Education Act strengthens Alberta's successful history of educational choice, including public and separate schools, Francophone schools, charter schools, independent (private) schools, early childhood education and home education. More than 50,000 Albertans shared their views through the Choice in education survey.

Access criteria

Access criteria is outlined in the Education Act and the Funding Manual for School Authorities.

As of September 1st of each school year, every child who meets the following criteria is allowed access to education:

  • six years of age or older and younger than 19 years of age
  • one of the following:
    • a Canadian citizen
    • has been admitted to Canada for permanent residence
    • has a parent who is a Canadian citizen
    • has a parent who has been admitted to Canada for permanent or temporary residence

Public and separate schools

Alberta has one publicly funded education system that includes public schools and separate schools.

Public and separate schools, which are operated by locally elected officials and overseen by the Government of Alberta, teach the Alberta curriculum to eligible students. Public and separate schools may choose optional programs as needed to meet the unique needs of their students and communities.

Establishing a separate school district

The religious minority, either Protestant or Roman Catholic, has the right to establish a separate school district. This right is enshrined in the Constitution Act, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Alberta Act and Alberta’s Education Act.

Information package

The Separate School Establishment Manual is a guide for separate school electors. It details the process they must follow when they choose to pursue the establishment of a separate school district.

Required forms

All forms must be filled out entirely and accurately to validate the establishment process.

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