Reducing School Fees: Proposed Legislation
A letter from the Minister of Education
March 6, 2017
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am pleased to share with you some information about Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees, which our government recently introduced in the legislature. By introducing this legislation, our government is working to make life better and more affordable for Alberta families.
If Bill 1 is passed, these fee reductions will come in to effect this fall and no Alberta family will be required to pay for instructional supplies or materials, or for certain types of student transportation, as outlined below. These two school fees represent approximately 25 per cent of the fees collected each year by school boards, and reducing them would lead to Alberta families saving more than $50 million annually.
Instructional supplies or materials include fees for textbooks, workbooks, printing and paper costs incurred by their public schools. It also includes any common fees that are charged to an entire student body, or grade cohort. These fees can be referred to as—among other titles—instructional fees, instructional materials or basic fees. To date, school fees have varied significantly from school to school, so your savings will depend on the type and amount of fees currently charged by your child's school.
Bill 1, if passed, will also remove bus fees for eligible students traveling to their designated school. That means that if your child attends his or her designated school and that school is more than 2.4 kilometres away from your home, you will not be charged transportation fees. In some circumstances—for example, if parents choose to enrol their child in a school other than their designated school—fees may still be incurred.
Our government understands that times are tough for Alberta families and is working to make education more affordable. We believe that all students deserve access to a quality education in an Alberta school, and we are committed to reducing financial barriers such as school fees.
Further details about Bill 1 will be released in the coming months, and additional information will be available on the Alberta Education website. If you have questions about your school's school fees, please contact your school or school board directly.
Minister of Education