Bill 1: School Fees

 

April 10, 2017

Dear Parents/ Guardians,

You have likely heard the recent announcement by the provincial government in the media about Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees. Essentially, the Bill eliminates fees for basic instructional supplies and materials as well as some transportation fees.

For parents of students in Lethbridge School District, this Bill does not bring about any change.

Unlike most school districts in the province who charge these fees, the Lethbridge School District No. 51 Board of Trustees eliminated these fees prior to this announcement and funding by the government.

Basic fees for elementary students, including fees for basic supplies and materials, were eliminated in the 2011-2012 school year. At that time, the basic fee was $41 per student. The District absorbed these costs in its annual budget in an effort to reduce this financial burden on families.

Recognizing the difficult economic climate in Alberta and, again, in an effort to reduce the financial burden of basic school fees to parents at the secondary level, the basic fees for middle school and high school were eliminated this school year (2016-17 school year). The cost was absorbed by reducing other expenditure areas of the budget. The basic school fee amount of $53 per student was eliminated from middle school fees and $70 per student from high school fees.

The purpose of this letter is to ensure there is clarity among the parents regarding what fees can be expected next school year. Fees that are beyond what Bill 1 identifies as "basic school fees," will continue to be charged next school year. These are fees that are specific to specialized programs (e.g. foods classes, shop, art, band, etc.), co-curricular pursuits (e.g. field trips or special events), extra-curricular pursuits (e.g. school athletics), special materials that go beyond basic supplies (e.g. yearbooks) and student organizations (e.g. student council).

Families will receive information regarding specific school fees from the school in which your child is enrolled for next school year. If you have any questions once you receive this information from your school, please feel free to contact your school administration.

Regards,

Mich Forster

Board Chair