Budget 2017 funding that would reduce school fees under proposed legislation would save Alberta families $54 million in the 2017/18 school year.
If passed, Bill 1, An Act to Reduce School Fees, would eliminate specific school charges. The bill would eliminate school boards’ ability to levy fees for instructional materials or supplies, or transportation fees for eligible students.
The parents of nearly 600,000 students would benefit from an instructional fee removal. The families of an additional 140,000 students would have more money in their pockets with a transportation fee reduction.
“Through the funding that Budget 2017 provides, our government plans to reduce school fees to make life better and more affordable for Alberta families. They can use these hard-earned savings on other important things, such as paying for groceries, their mortgages or for special activities for their children.” Rachel Notley, Premier
“Through Budget 2017, school boards would receive funding to offset the loss of fee revenues as a result of Bill 1. This would help ensure that boards would be able to maintain—or increase—the education programming they provide to students.” David Eggen, Minister of Education
If passed, the budget would also increase overall funding for education by $213 million in 2017/18 over the 2016/17 forecast, providing school boards with dollars for every new student and protecting grants for First Nations students, English Language Learners and others with diverse learning needs.
Premier Notley and Minister Eggen spent the morning at Monsignor Fee Otterson school, in Edmonton, meeting with parents, students and school trustees to discuss how they would benefit from Budget 2017 and Bill 1.
“The elimination of transportation costs for students living 2.4 km from their designated school is a positive first step. Supporting parents with these costs will reduce the financial pressure families face every day.” Laura Thibert, board chair, Edmonton Catholic Schools