Cuts to school fees will save a bit in Bashaw

Optional and sports fees on the rise among the other changes

There will be some savings on student fees, though the exact amount isn’t significant.

Earlier this year, the provincial government began the process of following through on its 2015 election promise to eliminate school fees by ensuring new legislation was brought forward to ban fees for most busing and basic instruction.

The law was passed in June and is expected to provide families with savings.

However, in Bashaw the savings will only come to just under $13,000 for the school overall. The savings come with the removal of paying for basic instructional materials.

“School divisions are receiving an equivalent amount of funding from the provincial government to offset this loss of revenue,” explained Diane Hutchinson, community relations coordinator for the Battle River School Division (BRSD).

The government announcement, which was re-released last week by Education minister David Eggen, included busing fees for those further than 2.4 km from the designated school.

“That means that the $50 fee we used to charge for students in Grades 1 to 9 and the $100 fee that used to be charged to each high school student is not being charged this year,” said Hutchinson.

“BRSD does not charge a transportation fee to students who meet the busing criteria, so that’s a non-issue for us,” she said.

“In terms of other fees, there are a variety of fees that schools can charge, for things like field trips, sports teams, outdoor education. All those fees are outlined on the school’s schedule.”

Although, there is one caveat that school divisions have been issued, one that may affect budgets.

“The government has told us that no additional fees can be charged that are not included in this schedule,” Hutchinson added.

“If additional opportunities come up during the year the school will have to figure out how to pay for them without charging a fee to parents.”

The schedule includes an extensive list of fees for optional courses, non-curricular items, sports and other activities. The schedule lists the maximum amount of fees for each activity.

For more information on fees head to www.brsd.ab.ca/school/bashaw.