Bill 1 An Act to Reduce School Fees was proclaimed in June of 2017. The Act removed the ability for school boards to charge transportation fees to eligible riders (children who resided 2.4 km or more from their designated school). As a result of Bill 1, our school division was provided with the School Fee Reduction grant for transportation.
The Government in its provincial budget released on October 24, 2019 discontinued the School Fee Reduction funding of $407,000 related to transportation for our Division.
The Education Act (Section 59(3)) allows school jurisdictions to charge the parent of a student receiving transportation provided by the board any fee determined by the board.
As per the School Transportation Regulation 96/2019 that has been in effect since September 1st, 2019, a fee charged under Section 59(3) of the Act must not exceed the average difference per student between the estimated cost and the received transportation funding.
This new regulation states the ability for a school division to charge fees for transportation to all families who use transportation services including those families who live 2.4 KM or more from their designated schools and are considered eligible riders by the Government.
Our Division had hoped that the Government would continue to provide funding for the “eligible riders” and therefore, the Division would be able to continue to provide “eligible rider” transportation at no cost.
As a result of not only losing the School Fee Reduction funding for transportation and instruction, the Division also lost class size initiative funding. The total amount of lost revenues mid-year amounts to $2.5 million dollars. Our Division is faced with a challenging task of balancing the budget with a significant loss to the bottom line.
To this end, the Board of Trustees at their November 25, 2019 regular board meeting, regretfully approved transportation fees for 2019-2020 for eligible riders who live 2.4 km or more from their designated school to deal with a funding shortfall in transportation.
The fee for transportation services will be added to your child’s School Cash online account by December 9th, 2019 in accordance with the following fee schedule:
- An eligible rural rider fee - $255
- An eligible urban rider fee - $313
Once the transportation fees are uploaded into School Cash, you will be able to complete a single payment in full or to set up multiple payments to a maximum of 6 equal payments (January 1, 2020 – June 1, 2020). Please contact Transportation at 780-459-7711 for family rates or should you require assistance in making payments within School Cash.
Please note that this letter does not include information regarding ineligible riders (students who live under 2.4 KM or those who are not attending their designated school) as these students have already been assigned a fee for payment and were not included in the Bill 1 An Act to Reduce School Fees.