Who sets school course fees?
Each school examines programs being offered and the required materials. The cost for additional materials to supplement the program are then calculated. These costs determine the fee charged to students. Other fees are to be used within the school year and are to be set on a cost recovery basis (see Administrative Procedure 505, School and Administrative Fees).
Why are there fee discrepancies between school boards?
School boards work closely with administration to ensure the resources allocated by the government are invested in ways that best serve the educational needs and interests of students—which is certainly the case within EIPS. As a result, school fees charged to families can often vary between school boards.
How do I know EIPS is not making a profit by charging fees?
As per Administrative Procedure 505, School and Administrative Fees, school fees shall be used within the school year and set on a cost-recovery basis. Additionally, fees can’t be charged in lieu of fundraising.
Fees are strictly used to cover a portion of the costs involved in delivering the program for which they are charged. Some fees are identified to cover the costs of specific optional activities, such as field trips, yearbooks and graduations. The fees related to these activities are not mandatory, should a student choose not to participate.
When are fees due?
Fees are due within 30 days of being assessed. Parents and independent students have a number of payment options, including paying at the school and paying online using Visa, MasterCard or INTERAC Online—when available at the financial institution.
Are school supplies included in the basic instructional fee?
No. The purchase of general school supplies remains the responsibility of parents. If schools are purchasing supplies in bulk on behalf of parents, they can continue to do so on a cost-recovery basis. Parents have the option of buying these supplies from the school or on their own.
If the cost of purchasing items places a burden on a family, there are other options available. For instance, EIPS partners with the United Way for its Tools for School campaign on an annual basis. The program provides backpacks and school supplies to students in kindergarten through Grade 12 whose families have limited resources. Families either order the supplies through their school or call EIPS Central Administration. The supplies are then distributed discretely at the start of the school year.
What are the options if a parent cannot pay fees?
If circumstances exist where you’re unable to pay student fees, you can apply to have certain fees waived (see Waiver of Fees). If it's determined fees aren't eligible to be waived, based on the submitted application, payment options may be made with the school’s administration.
What if school fees remain unpaid?
If fees are not paid, they will be forwarded to a collection agency (see Administrative Procedure 505, School and Administrative Fees).
What was Bill 1 and what does it mean from my child?
In spring 2017, the government introduced Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees. The Bill restricts school boards from charging families for certain fees. As a result of these changes, EIPS eliminated the Learning Resource Fee as of the 2017-18 school year.
Why does EIPS not use tax-generated revenue, instead of charging fees?
School jurisdictions receive funding from Alberta Education. The funding is separate from the local taxes, which are assessed and collected by local municipalities. The provincial government sets provincial education tax rates, and funds collected are allocated to school jurisdictions based on the provincial funding framework. There is no direct correlation between the taxes collected locally for schools and the provincial funding framework.
(Last updated: June 2018)