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School fee cuts to save Grande Prairie families $1.3M

It’s estimated that parents in the Grande Prairie area will save more than $1.3 million in school fees this year. The provincial government announced this spring that it would be getting rid of transportation charges and fees for materials like textbooks, photocopying and printing.

For parents of students in the Grande Prairie Catholic and Public school divisions, instructional supplies and materials fee averaged about $80 and $55 respectively per student. They won’t see that on their bill this year.

“As a parent and a former teacher, I know it can be difficult for families to have to pay these fees in the back-to-school season,” says Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley MLA Marg McCuaig-Boyd. “We ran on a platform to reduce the burden of school fees on parents in our province, which is why I’m proud to see we’re following through on that commitment, making life better and more affordable for Alberta families.”

As for transportation costs, the government notes that school boards had kept transportation costs low, so they won’t see as much savings as others cities in Alberta. Peace Wapiti School Division students will save on their $71 fee, or more if they take the bus more than 2.4 kilometres to school.

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“Parents should notice a significant reduction in the fees that they do pay,” says PWSD Superintendent Sheldon Rowe. “There are still some fees that we charge but those core fees are gone.”

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