SOS Alberta’s response to Bill 1 Announcement
Support Our Students Alberta has long advocated for the complete elimination of all schools fees for children across the province. It is in fact, the third point of our Ten Strategies to Achieve Equitable Public Education
It reads: Eliminate ALL barriers including all school-related fees (including, but not limited to, instructional materials, bussing, lunch supervision) and application procedures.
SOS Alberta feels strongly that fees and all barriers exacerbate inequalities in the system and in the wider society. There exists a wide range and variety of fees around this province, with each school board implementing fees around bussing, noon supervision, instructional supplies and materials fees to name a few. These fees can add up and become a real financial stress and burden on families. As a result, Bill 1 will bring very real relief for many families, in particular, low income families who do not qualify for exemptions and who are struggling through difficult economic times.
We are very pleased to have been part of discussions surrounding the need and impact of eliminating and reducing school fees for children in Alberta. SOS Alberta has discussed the need to address this very significant barrier at every possible opportunity and appreciate this government listening to our concerns and suggestions.
Bill 1 is an important initiative showing a renewed commitment to public education, equity and most importantly to Alberta’s children. We applaud the spirit of Bill 1, and recognize it is an important step towards eliminating all schools fees. We look forward to continuing to be a part of that discussion, and advocating on behalf of Alberta children.