Important information about reducing school fees

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Today, the Government of Alberta announced plans to introduce legislation to reduce school fees.

Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees, if passed, would eliminate fees charged for:

  • transportation for students who are attending their designated school and live more than 2.4 kilometres from the school; and
  • instructional supplies or materials, such as textbooks, workbooks, printing, and paper costs. This category would also include any common fees that are charged to an entire student body or grade cohort.

Palliser Regional Schools does not charge for transportation to its community schools for students beyond 2.4 km. The only Palliser bus fee is provided under an agreement with the Town Coaldale for students living within 2.4 km of their school in town. Palliser has two alternative program schools which charge a bus fee because they do not receive any transportation funding from Alberta Education yet they provide this service. These are not designated schools; they are schools of choice.

Palliser’s instructional supply fees are currently set at $59 per Grade 7-9 student and $69 for Grade 10-12 students, annually. The $39 fee for Grade 1-6 students has been waived for all families for more than a decade. The board stopped collecting those fees in the wake of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis which took a heavy economic toll on southern Alberta families.

Palliser expects to receive more information on this legislation and its impact in coming days and in the provincial budget.

Please click here to read Education Minister David Eggen’s letter to parents and guardians on this legislation.