K to 12 education legislation and regulations

Federal and provincial legislation that impact K to 12 education in Alberta.

French-language content for this topic on Alberta.ca is currently being developed. Information will remain available on the Alberta Education website until this is complete.

La page correspondante en français est en cours de préparation sur le site Web Alberta.ca. Pendant cette période de transition, l'information qu'elle contient demeure disponible sur le site Web du ministère de l'Éducation.

Education Act

The Education Act sets out the goals, roles and responsibilities of Alberta's Early Childhood Services to Grade 12 (ECS to 12) education system.

Bills and amendments

The Education Amendment Act, formerly Bill 8, amends the Education Act to carry over recent improvements made to the education system. The bill also ensures that some current rules will not change in order to minimize disruptions to parents and schools. These include:

  • existing age of access is maintained (19)
  • residency rules based on custodial parent
  • sixteen as the compulsory age of attendance
  • standardized age of entry to kindergarten will come into effect on September 1, 2020
  • the restriction on charging school fees for specific instructional supplies and materials

Education Act regulations

The following regulations take their authority from specific sections of the Education Act and describe additional legal requirements that must be met by:

  • the Government of Alberta
  • school boards
  • charter schools
  • private schools
  • early childhood operators
  • teachers
  • parents

The relevant sections of the Education Act are identified after each regulation.

Ministerial Orders

These 2 Ministerial Orders support the transition to the new Education Act and implement changes in the names of school jurisdictions under the Education Act.

Provincial legislation

The following acts and regulations provide supplemental direction on key aspects of Alberta's ECS to 12 education system:

Other provincial acts and regulations, while not specific to ECS to 12 education, must also be followed:

Federal legislation

The requirements set out in the following acts and regulations apply in addition to the Education Act.

Provincial Mandate on Education

The Government of Canada Constitution Act, 1867 (previously known as the British North America Act) establishes exclusive provincial/territorial mandates with respect to education matters.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Government of Canada Constitution Act, 1982 (also known as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) ensures the rights of all peoples in Canada to:

  • freedom
  • democracy
  • mobility
  • security
  • well-being
  • minority language education rights

Consolidated Government of Canada Constitution Act, 1867 to 1982

Human Rights Act

The Government of Canada Human Rights Act declares that individuals cannot be discriminated against on the basis of:

  • race
  • national or ethnic origin
  • colour
  • religion
  • age
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • marital status
  • family status
  • disability

First Nations education

The Government of Canada Indian Act defines the rights and responsibilities of First Nations people and communities, and the role of the federal government in First Nations matters. This includes federal responsibility for the education of First Nations children and youth living on reserve. The Indian Act also enables First Nations to enter into agreements with provincial school boards so that their students may attend schools that are located off reserve.

Copyright Act

The Government of Canada Copyright Act establishes the rights of ownership, reproduction and use of original works (for example, textbooks and other educational resources, literature, music, academic writing) and the penalties for unauthorized use of such works.

All Alberta school authorities must comply with international and federal copyright legislation and related agreements.