Families of nearly 600,000 students across the province began to save money on certain school and transportation fees in the 2017-18 school year and the savings continue in subsequent school years.
An Act to Reduce School Fees, proclaimed in June 2017, eliminated fees for instructional supplies or materials. Transportation fees for eligible students who live more than 2.4 kilometres from their designated schools were also removed. Funding is being provided to school boards to help offset any potential revenue loss as a result of this legislation.
Starting in the 2017-18 school year, parents are no longer being charged fees for instructional supplies or materials, for:
All remaining fees charged by a school board must meet several criteria, including:
This means that common or generic fees — often previously referred to, among other titles, as instructional fees, instructional materials, or basic fees — can no longer be charged.
School busing fees were eliminated for the following students:
In some circumstances, busing fees may still apply, including:
Students who take municipal transit, and live 2.4 kilometres or more from their designated school, will only pay the difference between provincial transportation funding and the cost of a municipal transit pass. For example, in Calgary:
School boards receive funding to offset the loss of fee revenues as a result of this legislation. This helps to ensure boards can maintain or increase the education programming they provide to students.
School boards have the ability to set school fees to cover a number of different expenses.
Before An Act to Reduce School Fees was introduced, school fees varied significantly from school-to-school, even within a single school jurisdiction.
By amending the School Act, through An Act to Reduce School Fees, and introducing two regulations – the School Fees and Costs Regulation and the School Transportation Regulation – school boards are not able to charge families for certain school and transportation fees.
If you would like more information on the fees for your school, contact your school or local school board.