News / Calgary

Eggen sets school fees on back burner until 2018

Alberta Education said hard economic times have forced them to wait on their promise to reduce school fees

Althea Adams, spokeswoman for CAPSC, say school fees are too expensive for parents.

Lucie Edwardson / Metro

Althea Adams, spokeswoman for CAPSC, say school fees are too expensive for parents.

Calgary parents are asking Alberta’s education minister when they might see his campaign pledge to reduce school fees come into action.

In a statement provided to Metro, the minister said he remains committed to reducing the fees, but other things have taken priority during a challenging economic time— and he doesn’t anticipate allocating funding towards fees until 2018.

“We decided that it was more important, at this time, to protect existing funding—such as school authority funding which is used to hire teachers and support staff—which makes a direct impact in our classrooms,” he said. We also restored the transportation grant that the previous government had cut. Had we not done that, transportation fees would have likely increased.”

Althea Adams, spokeswoman for Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils ( CAPSC ), said this is “absolutely not” a good enough answer. 

“At the end of the day he had said he’d be looking into fees and not only to reduce fees, but where they are going,” she said. “As of now they have yet to do that and I am hearing now that they aren’t planning on doing it until 2018—which is ridiculous.”

Adams said CAPSC has reviewed RAM (resource allocation method) documents from Calgary Board of Education schools, and from what they can see the fees aren’t even staying in the schools. 

“I’m sorry but that information needs to be disclosed to parents,” she said. “Eggen said they expect fees to be used for what their intended for—and they’re not. Where exactly is this money going?”

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