The Government of Alberta has tabled Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees.
If the bill is passed, Alberta parents will no longer have to pay school fees for instructional supplies or materials or for eligible students taking the bus to their designated schools.
These two fees cost Alberta families more than $50 million each year. They account for approximately 25 per cent of the total fees charged to parents.
If proclaimed, Bill 1 will result in amendments to the School Act, 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. Included in this category would be charges for:
•printing or paper supplies
"Two years ago, our government ran on a platform commitment to reduce the burden of school fees on Alberta families. The introduction of Bill 1 follows through on that commitment. Our government cares about your family and your pocketbook. We understand that times are tough, and we’re doing what we can to improve the lives of Albertans." Rachel Notley, Premier
"Our government believes in a publicly funded education system and school fees should not be a barrier to kids getting a good start in life, no matter their circumstance." David Eggen, Minister of Education
"We commend the Education Ministry for working to reduce school fees paid by Alberta parents. School councils look forward to consultations supporting this legislation as an important step in ensuring the success of all students." Allison Pike, President, Alberta School Councils’ Association
"Edmonton Public Schools is supportive of the government continuing to invest in education and in Alberta families. We share a commitment to equity and accessibility of public education." Michelle Draper, board chair, Edmonton Public Schools
"Bill 1 will enable our district to put additional resources into the classroom and further enhance a student’s education, while ensuring that all students succeed during their Kindergarten to Grade 12 educational journey." Laura Thibert, board chair, Edmonton Catholic Schools
•Watch the news conference