Moush Sara John Independent staff
At the regular Clearview Public Schools board meeting, on Thursday, June 15, the board of trustees approved for consultation a new policy titled “Policy 31 Fees for Schools and Transportation.”
This is in accordance to Alberta’s new “School Fees and Costs Regulation and the School Transportation Regulation,” a law signed earlier this month on June 5.
The law was an effort by the Alberta Education to ease 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” will 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 kms. or more from their designated school.
“Our government is reducing school fees as we work to protect and improve education and make life better for Alberta families,” said David Eggen, Minister of Education. “These fees have gone unregulated for too long and most significant increases will now require my review and approval. We will continue to work with parents, school boards and other education partners to make even further reductions to fees in the years ahead.”
Busing fees have also been eliminated for special-needs students and Kindergarten students travelling home over the noon hour.
Students who live 2.4 kms. 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.
In addition, ministerial approval is now required for fees increasing by more than five per cent year-over-year.
According to Alberta Education, school boards are responsible for setting school fees within the five per cent limit.
Clearview has stated that school fees and transportation fees will continue under the new regulations and in 2017-18.
“Schools are currently developing their recommendations for fees for next year,” said Associate Superintendent Peter Neale. “Transportation fees will continue in 2017-18 unchanged, including fees for school of choice, in-town services, and yard services.”
Some of the areas, which may incur charges as before, include – bulk supply purchase fee for legal guardians; fees for optional courses; non-curricular travel; full-day Kindergarten; extracurricular fees, including sports teams and cultural field trips; and non-curricular goods and services, such as agenda books, ADLC refundable deposits, fitness centre, library, locker rental, locks, students’ union, student identification, and uniforms.