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Alberta government opening door to higher school fees

Last Updated Aug 31, 2019 at 1:24 pm MDT

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EDMONTON (660 NEWS) —Brace yourself to pay more if your child takes the bus.

Alberta’s UCP government has lifted school fee restrictions, reversing the rule which gave free bussing to kids who live 2.4 kilometres or more from their designated school.

Opposition education critic Sarah Hoffman said the move repeals the NDP government’s protections for parents by once again allowing school boards to charge any fee determined by the board necessary for covering the cost of busing.

A rule requiring the minister’s approval for new or substantially hiked fees will disappear.

Hoffman told 660 NEWS it’s disappointing.

“Our worry is that with talks about deep cuts that education is going to continue to be underfunded and that those fees will be passed on to parents in a way that isn’t fair. Parents didn’t vote for their bussing fees to go up,” said Hoffman.

“Based on the comments I saw from the Minister’s office yesterday, it’s about dumping more responsibility on boards without giving them any more power or money.”

She said the Kenney government is creating even more uncertainty for families and schools, as children head back to classes.

The UCP has signalled cuts are coming in the budget, due in October.