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Give families a break and scrap 'Chequetember' school fees: McAllister

CALGARY, AB (September 3, 2013): Alberta families are set once again to be hit with hundreds of dollars in mandatory school fees from an out-of-touch PC government as students begin a new school year, Wildrose Education Critic Bruce McAllister said today. 

Ending mandatory school fees would save parents an average of $100 a year for every school-aged child and would stop parents being forced to pay for classes that their child is not permitted to opt out of.  Examples of these fees include locker, noon supervisory, compulsory, basic, instructional and non-instructional fees. “Just before the last election this government’s Education minister acknowledged the problem and asked every school district for a breakdown of their fees. Here we are 18 months later and nothing has been done,” McAllister said.  “We should be working on making life easier for families and putting Albertans first instead of this government’s approach of sitting idly by and wasting millions on a bloated bureaucracy.” Last fall, Wildrose put forward amendments to the Education Act to ensure no parents have to pay mandatory fees to send their kids to public, separate or public Charter schools.  The PC government voted down the amendments. McAllister said that the cost of scrapping mandatory school fees shouldn’t be borne by school boards but must be met head on by the Education Minister Jeff Johnson and the provincial government. “Parents have been looking for action on mandatory school fees without any action from the government for too long,” McAllister said.  “We hope the PC government will start putting Albertans first and figure out how to give families a break. Parents already pay enough in education taxes, and for busing and special trips. They shouldn’t be nickel and dimed every ‘Chequetember’ just to send their kids to school.”