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Reduced school fees may not help Alberta families living too close to their school

Bill 1 states if a student if a child is greater than 2.4 kilometres away from home, families will not be charged any transportation fees. File / Global News

A new bill aimed at reducing school fees could leave those who live close to their schools still paying for students to ride the school bus.

Bill 1 was introduced in the legislature Thursday and is meant to reduce the burden of school fees for thousands of Alberta families.

If it is passed, school boards will not be able to charge for instructional supplies or materials and fees for eligible students taking the bus to their designated school. Eligible students would have to live farther than 2.4 kilometres away from their designated school. If they live closer than that and are bussed to school, they could still be charged a transportation fee.

WATCH: Education minister on proposed bill to slash school fees in Alberta

“(This bill) is going to make life better and more affordable for Albertans,” Education Minister David Eggen said in an email. He added in total, it could save parents more than $50 million a year.

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Alberta Education said it plans to consult further with school boards on fees, including those charged for transportation, adding it is also looking into more ways to reduce school fees in future years.

READ MORE: Alberta throne speech promises slashing of school fees

Edmonton Catholic Schools told Global News it transports approximately 2,500 students within the 2.4-kilometre radius because of safety concerns. A spokesperson wasn’t able to confirm if the transportation fee would change with Bill 1.

Both the Edmonton Catholic School Division and Edmonton Public Schools are waiting for more information before making any decisions or commenting further.

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