Array

Local officials react to province’s Speech From the Throne

Red Deer Public School District happy with introduction of Bill 1

  • Mar. 2, 2017 11:36 p.m.

Local officials are reacting to today’s Speech from the Throne.

Officials with the Red Deer Public School District are welcoming the news of Bill 1, which will be the Act to Reduce School Fees.

“As part of our District’s Equity priority, school fees and fundraising have been one of our areas of focus. It has been a regular concern that we have raised when we’ve met with our MLA’s,” said Board Chair Bev Manning. “We recognize that fees are a challenge for many and in some ways it reduces educational opportunities for students. News that the Notley government is moving forward on this issue is welcomed by the district and our families.”

Fees for programs, textbooks, student transportation, lunchroom supervision, field trips and optional courses can add up for families. Last year Red Deer Public Schools collected $2.5 million in such fees. While fees may not be eliminated, we appreciate the government is working to reduce fees for families.

“We have been making progress on this but there just has not been the funds available to address this fully. This Board introduced a Fee Waiver Program 15 years ago to assist families facing financial challenges,” said Manning. “Over the last nine years, we have waived fees totaling $736,095 for a total of 4,947 students and their families. This demonstrates the challenges of school fees.”

Stu Henry, superintendent of schools for the Red Deer Public School District said the news is welcomed.

“We understand from government that funding for this will be covered through ‘cost efficiencies’ within the department. The government has committed that this initiative will not negatively impact school boards. While appreciative of the news, we need more information to see if and what the impact will be on the department and school jurisdictions,” he said.

Meanwhile, building new schools, standing up in court for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, working with the federal government to create good oilfield service jobs, implementing a consumer bill of rights and expanding protections for victims of sexual and domestic assault are among key initiatives that will define Alberta’s next legislative session.

“Creating jobs, diversifying our economy, building pipelines and making life more affordable for families – that’s your government’s focus,” said Premier Rachel Notley.

She added that, while the economy recovers, government will continue to find ways to reduce costs and bring overall government spending down, but not at the expense of the jobs, services and supports Alberta families rely on.

“Though the world around us may be growing more uncertain, your government will remain focused. Now is not the time to let our steady hand waver. As we have from the start, we will continue to create jobs, diversify our economy and protect the health and education services families need.”

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Generals run away in third to win 5-2 over Ft. Sask

Lacombe looking for the four-game sweep in Ft. Sask on Sunday

WATCH: The Mustard Seed raises over $26,000 in Coldest Night of the Year walk

Over 165 Red Deerians participated in walk Feb. 24th

RCMP respond to serious collision on Highway 2A north of Blackfalds

Two taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries

Turning Point’s NightReach workers dedicated to helping others

Red Deer-based workers find fulfillment in making life changing connections

Nine-year-old raises thousands to help Red Deer animals

Jayda’s annual fundraiser to make sizeable donation to the Central Alberta Humane Society

WATCH: Red Deer River Bend officially opens enhancements

Trails and biathlon areas brought up to regulation for 2019 Canada Winter Games

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

Team Canada’s Dave Duncan apologizes after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

Duncan, his wife Maja and Canadian technical coach William Raine detained by South Korean police

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Internet questions PM’s fashion choices in India

The Trudeaus’ eight-day visit has been dogged by various controversies since it began Feb. 17

Most Read