by Morinville News Staff
The province says it is “easing the burden on parents by eliminating instructional and bus charges for tens of thousands of students and requiring approval for other increases.”
The new School Fees and Costs Regulation and the School Transportation Regulation remove the ability of school boards to charge for textbooks, workbooks, printing, photocopying and paper as well as bus fees for students living 2.4 kilometres or more from their designated school.
Busing fees have also been eliminated for special-needs students and kindergarten students travelling home over the noon hour.
Students who live 2.4 kilometres or more from their designated school and take municipal transit will only pay the difference between provincial transportation funding and the cost of a municipal transit pass.
David Eggen, Minister of Education, said the government is reducing school fees as they work to protect and improve education and make life better for Alberta families.
“These fees have gone unregulated for too long and most significant increases will now require my review and approval,” he said. “We will continue to work with parents, school boards and other education partners to make even further reductions to fees in the years ahead.”
Locally, bus fees became a topic of one social media group with resident Geordie Cheeseman saying fees rose from $275 in 2015 to $400 in 2016 and $550 this year.
Under the new regulations, ministerial approval is now required for fees increasing by more than five per cent year-over-year.
The new School Fees and Costs Regulation and the School Transportation Regulation were signed into law on June 5, 2017.