It may not be the progress that Minister of Education David Eggen had hoped to make by now but he says school fees are coming down in the province.
The NDP government had campaigned on a promise to reduce the burden facing parents each year as they get set to send their children to school.
“In regards to school fees it’s been a difficult economic circumstance so we’ve been unable to move on that in the way we hoped to but certainly just the review I think has allowed school boards and everyone to be thinking more carefully about it. We expect to see at least a three per cent reduction in school fees globally across the province and I know specifically school boards have been focusing on this as well,” said Eggen at a school opening in Northeast Calgary.
“Our government will move on school fees in the next couple of years,” he said. “It’s a circumstance that’s unfortunate, I’m not pleased with it but I think overtime school fees will go down.”
In a statement from the Minister of Education, spokesperson Larissa Liepins writes:
“We know that paying school fees can be a significant burden on families, and that’s why our government is committed to reducing them. We will continue to work with all school boards to find ways to reduce the burden of school fees on Alberta families. However, we must also be mindful of the fiscal realities our government faces as a result of the low price of oil.”
The statement echoes similar comments made by the Premier in May, that the price of oil had changed or shifted some of their priorities.
Earlier this summer, the Calgary Board of Education announced a fee increase as it says it was forced to deal with a transportation funding shortfall.