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Calgary families applaud school fee reductions

Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees would make life more affordable for Alberta families.

Minister Eggen discusses Bill 1 with parents

Minister Eggen joined by parents, teachers and students of Ranchlands School in Calgary.

If the legislation were proclaimed, Alberta families would no longer be charged for instructional supplies or materials or for busing eligible students to their designated schools.

A Calgary family with three kids taking the bus to their designated school could save more than $1,400 this fall.

“This important legislation will make life better for Alberta families. Bill 1 is part of our efforts to protect and improve the things that make a difference in your life, like education. Parents have told us these fees are a burden on them and we are following through on our commitment to take action.”

David Eggen, Minister of Education

Government plans further conversations with parents and school boards about additional fee reductions in future years.

“We work collaboratively with the government in order to provide our students with the best education and this is a positive step in supporting our families and students.”

Cheryl Low, board chair, Calgary Catholic School District

Minister Eggen spent the morning at Ranchlands School in Calgary, meeting with students, parents and school trustees to discuss the legislation.

“Support our Students Alberta has long advocated for the elimination of school fees. We hear time and time again from families across the province, about the increasing strain put on them to pay school fees. Any initiative that can reduce this impact on families is welcomed and applauded by SOS Alberta.”

Barb Silva, Support our Students Alberta

The fees addressed in Bill 1 cost Alberta families more than $50 million each year. They account for approximately 25 per cent of the total fees charged to parents.

Background

If proclaimed, Bill 1 will result in amendments to the School Act and Student Transportation Regulation, as well as the creation of a new school fees regulation before the start of the 2017/18 school year. 

Further consultation with parents and school boards will occur before the regulation is established, but it will set a clear definition for instructional supplies or materials. Some examples of fees in this category include charges for:

  • textbooks
  • workbooks
  • photocopying
  • printing or paper supplies

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