Alberta’s new Education Act was passed in the Legislative Assembly and received Royal Assent on December 10, 2012. In order to meet legislative requirements, 16 proposed regulations have been developed that align with and support the Act.
The 16 proposed regulations are:
- Alberta School Foundation Fund
- Board Procedures
- Charter Schools
- Disposition of Property
- Early Childhood Services
- Establishment of School Districts
- Home Education
- Petitions and Public Notices
- Private Schools
- School Councils
- School Fees
- Special School Tax Levy
- Student Records
- Student Transportation
The regulations were available for public comment—by education stakeholders, parents, educators, and the general public—between December 16, 2014 and January 31, 2015. The comment period is now closed, and we thank all participants for their feedback.
The comments received indicated that stakeholders were generally pleased with how the regulations reflected policy directions, but, in some cases, stakeholders sought clarifications with the regulations.
Government remains committed to moving forward with the legislative processes necessary to approve the regulations and proclaim the Education Act. This involves Bill 19, the Education Amendment Act, 2015, which must be passed before regulations can be finalized. Government also recognizes that school authorities require time to align their policies and procedures with the Act and its regulations, and will communicate updates with stakeholders as they become available.
Regulatory Review: Background
In April 2013, the Education Act Regulatory Review Committee (RRC) was established to develop new regulations and ensure alignment with the new Education Act. The goal of the Act and, its accompanying regulations is to ensure Alberta’s children have the supports and environment they need to succeed.
The RRC was chaired by MLA Maureen Kubinec (Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock)—now Minister of Culture and Tourism—and the other members were: MLA Christine Cusanelli (Calgary-Curry), MLA Matt Jeneroux (Edmonton-South West), MLA Linda Johnson (Calgary-Glenmore), and public member Jim Gibbons (a former school superintendent and a former member of Alberta Education’s Inspiring Education steering committee).
Extensive public and stakeholder consultations took place between July and November 2013. The input received helped inform the creation of the proposed regulations.
Bill 19, the Education Amendment Act
On March 16, Bill 19, the Education Amendment Act, 2015, was tabled in the legislature. Bill 19 is legislation that, through a series of amendments will assist in ensuring that the Education Act—upon its proclamation—is successful in: focusing education on the student, supporting educational choice, and enabling school boards to be more collaborative and responsive to their students’ needs.
The amendments in Bill 19 are administrative in nature, with the purpose of providing clarity and accuracy, and ensuring alignment with other legislation—including the recently amended Local Authorities Election Act and Education’s regulatory review.
The Education Amendment Act, 2015, does not, in any way, change the intent or overall policy objectives of the Education Act. The amendments were identified during the regulatory review process, and amendments of this nature are not uncommon in large, complex pieces of legislation. Regulations can only be finalized once the Education Amendment Act, 2015, is passed.
Bill 10, the Act to Amend the Alberta Bill of Rights to Protect our Children
On March 10, 2015, government passed the Act to Amend the Alberta Bill of Rights to Protect our Children. The amendments—including those to the Education Act—make it clear that school authorities are required to allow students to form groups and activities including gay-straight alliances (GSAs) or queer-straight alliances (QSAs) on school property if students express an interest in forming these peer-support groups.
Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Schools in the Education Act