The Education Act

About Education Legislation

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

The Education Act

Education Act – Section 55

School council

55           (1)  For each school operated by a board, a school council must be established in accordance with the regulations.

(2)  The majority of the members of a school council must be parents of students enrolled in the school.

(3)  A board of a separate school division may by resolution require that the parents of students enrolled in a school operated by the board who are members of the school council declare themselves to be of the same faith as the electors of the separate school division, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic.

(4)  A school council may, at its discretion,

(a)   advise the principal and the board respecting any matter relating to the school,

(b)   perform any duty or function delegated to it by the board in accordance with the delegation,

(c)   consult with the principal so that the principal may ensure that students in the school have the opportunity to meet the standards of education set by the Minister,

(d)   consult with the principal so that the principal may ensure that the fiscal management of the school is in accordance with the requirements of the board and the superintendent, and

(e)   do anything it is authorized under the regulations to do.

(5)  Subject to the regulations, a school council may establish and implement policies in the school that the school council considers necessary to carry out its functions.

(6)  A school council may make bylaws governing its meetings and the conduct of its affairs.

(7)  Subject to the regulations, a board may establish and implement policies respecting school councils.

(8)  A board shall establish a dispute resolution process to address disputes between the principal and the school council with respect to policies proposed or adopted for a school.

(9)  The Minister, on the request of the board, may dissolve a school council without notice at any time if the Minister is of the opinion that the school council is not carrying out its responsibilities in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

(10)  Where a school council has been dissolved by the Minister pursuant to subsection (9), a school council must, in accordance with the regulations, be established after the start of the school year immediately following the year in which the school council was dissolved.

(11)  The Minister may make regulations

(a)   respecting the establishment of school councils, the election or appointment of the members of a school council, the term or other conditions of election or appointment and the dissolution of a school council;

(b)   respecting the roles of the principal and the school council of a school and their respective powers, duties and responsibilities;

(c)   respecting the re-establishment of school councils that have been dissolved by the Minister pursuant to subsection (9);

(d)   respecting any other matter the Minister considers necessary respecting school councils;

(e)   exempting a school or class of schools from the application of this section.

 

Education Act Regulations
The 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, teachers and parents.

School Councils Regulation

 

Overview of the Education Act and Areas of Interest to Parents and School Councils (June 2019)

Education Amendment Act

The Education Amendment Act, 2019, Bill 8, was introduced in the Legislature by Education Minister LaGrange on June 5, 2019.

Amendments

With the proposed amendments, some of the current rules would not change upon proclamation of the Education Act, including:   

  • The age individuals are entitled to access K-12 education (up to age 19).
  • Residency rules (based on custodial parent).
  • Compulsory age of attendance (16 years of age).
  • Student transportation.
  • Restriction on charging school fees for specific instructional supplies and materials.
  • Leadership certification implementation.
  • Superintendent compensation rules.
  • Standardized age of entry to kindergarten to come into effect on Sept. 1, 2020.

Bill 8 passed, the Education Act will come into force on Sept. 1, 2019.

 

Bill 8: The Education Amendment Act, 2019 was introduced to update the Education Act, which was passed in 2012 after widespread consultation, but was not brought into force.

The amended Education Act would improve student success, strengthen parental rights, enhance local decision-making for school boards, increase education choice and improve accountability within the system.

Key changes

Amendments in Bill 8 ensure some of the current rules are carried over to the Education Act to provide certainty to families and educators, including:

  • age students can access K-12 education (up to 19 years of age)
  • compulsory age of attendance (16 years)
  • residency rules based on the custodial parent
  • student transportation
  • leadership certification implementation
  • restriction on charging school fees for specific instructional supplies and materials
  • superintendent compensation rules
  • standardized age of entry to kindergarten to come into effect September 1, 2020

Bill 8 would also:

  • enhance parental rights by establishing a policy respecting the resolution of disputes at the school level between parents and school staff
  • increase education choice by removing the  cap on  charter schools in the province
  • allow school jurisdictions to provide alternative programs outside of their geographic boundary
  • allow students to create inclusion groups, including GSAs and QSAs and ensure students’ privacy is protected under privacy legislation (FOIP and PIPA)
  • give school electors the choice of which school board to vote for or run in
  • increase the accountability and oversight of private and charter school authorities to ensure they are delivering high-quality education to students
  • give the minister the ability to cancel or suspend the registration or accreditation of a private school if the financial administration of the school places the learning environment of students at risk
  • give school boards more autonomy to decide their own electoral ward and subdivision structure

For more information, read the What is Changing document. (PDF, 778 KB)

The amended Education Act will come into effect September 1, 2019.