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AN ACT TO REDUCE SCHOOL FEES

Bill 1

AN ACT TO REDUCE SCHOOL FEES

Chapter 6

(Assented to May 4, 2017)

Preamble

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta is committed to reducing the financial burden that school and transportation fees place on Alberta families;


WHEREAS the public education system should be accessible to all students, and fees should not present a barrier to achieving core learning outcomes; and

WHEREAS by ensuring an accessible, high‑quality education system, the Government of Alberta is providing students with the opportunity to obtain the skills they need to secure rewarding careers;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows:

Amends RSA 2000 cS‑3

1   The School Act is amended by this Act.

 

2   Section 21(4) is amended by adding “, subject to the regulations,” after “the board may”.

 

3   Section 30 is amended

                            (a)    in subsection (2) by striking out “or board”;

                           (b)    by adding the following after subsection (2):

(2.1)  A board that provides an early childhood services program may, subject to the regulations, charge fees in respect of the program from the parent of a child referred to in subsection (1)(a) who attends the program.

 

4   Section 34(3) is repealed and the following is substituted:

(3)  A charter school may, subject to the regulations, charge a parent of a student fees and costs.

 

5   The following is added after section 39:

Fees and costs

39.1(1)  Subject to the regulations, any fees or costs a parent is charged by a board may only be used for the purposes for which they are collected.

(2)  The Minister may make regulations respecting fees or costs parents may be charged by boards, including but not limited to the following:

                                 (a)    authorizing the charging or use of fees or costs by boards;

                                 (b)    defining the types of fees or costs that may be charged by boards and the types of fees or costs that may not be charged by boards;

                                 (c)    limiting the amount of fees or costs that may be charged by boards;

                                 (d)    respecting the refund of fees or costs;

                                 (e)    respecting the waiver of fees or costs and the procedure for requesting a waiver;

                                 (f)    respecting the establishment of policies and procedures by boards respecting the charging of fees and costs;

                                 (g)    respecting the reporting by boards on fees and costs charged to parents;

                                 (h)    respecting penalties or sanctions for a board’s failure to comply with the regulations respecting fees or costs.

 

6   Section 51(3) is repealed and the following is substituted:

(3)  A board shall not charge the parent of a student receiving transportation provided by the board transportation fees unless the transportation fees are authorized by the regulations.

 

7   Section 60(2) is amended

                            (a)    in clause (h)

                                  (i)    by striking out “at its own expense or otherwise,”;

                                 (ii)    by adding “and, subject to the regulations, charge a parent of a student fees or costs for those educational, cultural or recreational trips” after “division”;

                           (b)    by repealing clause (j).

 

8   Section 124 is amended

                            (a)    in subsection (1) by adding “or” at the end of clause (c), by striking out “or” at the end of clause (d) and by repealing clause (e);

                           (b)    by adding the following after subsection (1):

(1.1)  If a board makes a decision on an appeal to it or otherwise with respect to the amount and payment of fees or costs, the parent of a student affected by the decision or the student if the student is 16 years of age or older may, subject to the regulations, request in writing that the Minister review the decision of the board.

 

9   This Act comes into force on Proclamation.