CALGARY - The Opposition Wildrose party is organizing a petition calling for an end to mandatory school fees in Alberta.
Wildrose education critic Bruce McAllister says the mandatory fees are a hidden tax and an undue financial burden on parents, who already pay taxes to fund education.
He says the government is short-changing education, which forces school boards to look to parents to make up the difference.
McAllister says a family with three children could pay mandatory fees of up to $1,000.
He says the government should cover the $60 million in annual fees.
McAllister says that much could be covered this year if the government cancelled a recent seven per cent raise to senior bureaucrats.
"We have heard loud and clear from parents that they've had enough of being nickel and dimed to death when the school year starts. September has become "Cheque-tember" for parents and parents have rightly had enough," said McAllister.
"I'm urging Alberta parents to sign this petition, and send a clear message to the PC government that they won't be taken for granted."
The government wastes billions on corporate welfare, sole source contracts, pet projects and staff salaries and severance, but requires taxpayers to bail them out on basic education, McAllister said.