March 30, 2012

Learning For Less: Scrapping Mandatory School Fees

March 30, 2012 (Lethbridge, AB): Today, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith unveiled the second part of the Wildrose Family Pack Pledge: the elimination of mandatory school fees. The Wildrose Family Pack is a three-part Pledge that will help alleviate some of the financial burdens families face. 

Wildrose is standing up for Alberta families by helping to make day-to-day life more affordable. As the backbone of our province, Alberta families are a cornerstone consideration of the Wildrose Pledge.  The Child Tax Credit, announced yesterday, and the elimination of mandatory school fees are important steps that will help Alberta parents raise strong, healthy, and educated families. By banning all mandatory school fees in public, Catholic, and public charter schools, a new Wildrose government would ensure there are no unfair barriers to education while alleviating undue financial burdens on families. These fees average about $100 per student per year. “Wildrose understands that Alberta’s young families and children are a major source of our provinces energy and economic strength. Government should support them and do what it can to allow hard-working parents to keep more of their money in their pocket,””said Smith. “I’m proud to announce that a Wildrose government would ban mandatory school fees and bring an end to this unfair nickel-and-diming of Alberta families.”” Time and time again the PCs have slapped Alberta families with surprise fees, hidden taxes, and overregulation on small businesses. The Alison Redford PCs have continued this practice. Instead of wasting money on corporate welfare and government pet projects, the Redford PCs should be looking for ways to help keep life affordable for Alberta families not leave them with the tab. “For too long, the PCs have hit families in their pocketbooks in order to support their runaway spending,” said Smith. “By helping to lower the cost of raising children, the Wildrose Family Pack puts Alberta families first.” Eliminating mandatory school fees is the second component of the Wildrose Family Pack. While the government has never collected the information properly, and the amount of fees varies widely from school to school, we estimate the average savings to be about $100 per child.  In some cases, especially for older children, it is much more. The first component of the Wildrose Family Pack is a $2,000 Child Tax Credit. Through the Child Tax Credit a Wildrose government would enable Alberta families to keep more of their hard earned money in their pockets by providing parents and guardians with a $2,000 tax deduction for each of their children under the age of 18.  This means families will save $200.00 per year on their taxes for each child. Helping families manage the unique costs associated with raising children is a key priority for the Wildrose Party. The Child Tax Credit and the elimination of mandatory school fees are two of the three components to the Wildrose Family Pack. The third element of our Pledge to put Alberta families first will be announced tomorrow.


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