If passed, Bill 8, the Education Amendment Act, 2019 would modernize Alberta’s education system and improve student success.
Compared to existing legislation introduced in 1988, the Education Act focuses education on the student and making schools safe, welcoming places where diversity is celebrated and bullying is not tolerated. It also enhances parental rights, increases choice for students and their parents, and gives school authorities more autonomy and flexibility to best meet the needs of students.
“Once amended, the Education Act will serve as a foundation of excellence for years to come. The act brings to life the vision for a modern education shared by thousands of Albertans through widespread consultation. This legislation is based on the values we believe are fundamental to supporting our students.”Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
Proposed amendments would provide certainty to families and educators by carrying over several aspects of current legislation into the not-yet-in-force Education Act, including the current age of access, age of compulsory attendance and residency rules.
The Education Act was passed in 2012 but was not proclaimed. The legislation was the result of widespread consultation, which occurred over a number of years.
“The College of Alberta School Superintendents strongly believes Bill 8 demonstrates a willingness of the government to consider stakeholder feedback and to collaborate with education partners to support students in Alberta’s world-class education system. We are looking forward to the opportunity to support the ministry as regulations are drafted over the upcoming weeks and months.”Bevan Daverne, president-elect, College of Alberta School Superintendents
“Public charter schools are proud to support the shared Alberta vision for education. We are grateful to have earned the opportunity to contribute to distinguishing Alberta Education as a global leader in delivering diverse, innovative, progressive, safe and effective education in an evolving world.”Ron Koper, board chair, Alberta Association of Public Charter Schools
“The Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta supports this collaborative approach to education that puts the focus on students. We look forward to partnering with parents, students, teachers, administrators, board members and government to provide access to a high-quality education system.”Simon Williams, president of the board of directors, Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta
“Although the Alberta School Boards Association would have liked more time to consider the Education Act and potential amendments, we appreciate Minister LaGrange’s consideration and willingness to consult regarding the drafting and implementation of the regulations. We are pleased with the amendments to ensure that residency and age of access are remaining the same as in the School Act. We look forward to working together on successful implementation of the amended Education Act in support of public, separate and francophone school boards in Alberta.”Lorrie Jess, president, Alberta School Boards Association
“The Association of School Business Officials of Alberta is pleased to see amendments to the Education Act that reflect the concerns brought forward by its membership. We look forward to working with government in the drafting of the regulations and implementation of the Education Act.”Ryan Stierman, president, Association of School Business Officials of Alberta
With the proposed amendments, some of the current rules would not change upon proclamation of the Education Act, including:
- The age individuals are entitled to access K-12 education (up to age 19).
- Residency rules (based on custodial parent).
- Compulsory age of attendance (16 years of age).
- Student transportation.
- Restriction on charging school fees for specific instructional supplies and materials.
- Leadership certification implementation.
- Superintendent compensation rules.
- Standardized age of entry to kindergarten to come into effect on Sept. 1, 2020.
If Bill 8 is passed, the Education Act would come into force on Sept. 1, 2019.