Lethbridge School District eliminates basic school fees

Middle and high school students at Lethbridge public schools will no longer have to pay the $53 and $70 fees, beginning this fall.

Move will cost between $250K and $290K per year, says superintendent Cheryl Gilmore

The Lethbridge School District stopped charging elementary students the $41 basic school fee at the start of the 2011/2012 school year. (Getty Images)

Some parents in Lethbridge will get a break on school fees this fall, but at a cost of $250,000 to $290,000 to the local school district.

The Lethbridge school board recently voted to eliminate basic fees for middle and high school students, which range from $53 to $70 per year. 

"The impetus behind it was recognizing that we have a number of families [for whom] school fees add one more burden during a very difficult economic time," said superintendent Cheryl Gilmore. 

Elementary school fees were eliminated in the district in 2011. 

Gilmore said the school will look to compensate for the loss in revenue by finding efficiencies in other areas, for example by cancelling outdated software subscriptions.

"If all else remains the same ... we can say with confidence that we would be able to find the $250,000 to $290,000 through resourcing elimination next year  ... of course not ever knowing full factors behind provincial decisions with budgets," Gilmore said. 

During the provincial election campaign, the NDP promised to invest $45 million to reduce school fees by half, with a goal of ending lunch supervision fees. 

Schools will still be able to charge fees for field trips and classes that require additional materials, such as cooking, art, robotics and shop classes.

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