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Charter schools' renewal terms extended to 15 years

Alberta’s public charter schools will be able to focus even more on student success and less on administration thanks to possible renewal terms of 15 years, up from the current five-year term.

“Choice is a great strength of Alberta’s education system, and public charter schools provide a valuable educational option for Albertans,” said Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. “Changing the renewal process will provide students, parents and school staff with more certainty so they can devote their efforts to planning for long-term success.”

Through amendments to the Charter School Regulation, established and effective charter schools seeking a 15-year renewal term will need to meet existing requirements and must also demonstrate: strong or improving student performance; a commitment to engaging students, parents, teachers, school staff and community members in school improvement planning; collaborative work designed to engage the broader education community; and a strong focus on the development of innovative learning environments.

“The province is committed to excellence in education and charter schools are models of innovation,” said Lukaszuk. “They deserve an opportunity to thrive and share their successful innovations with the rest of the education system. Lengthening their term will ensure charter schools can support change inside and outside their school walls.”

The enrolment caps currently assigned to public charter schools will also be assessed so that more families can access these programs. Requests for increases to a charter school’s enrolment cap will be supported, provided the request is consistent with the intent of the school’s charter and the increase in student numbers will not exceed the capacity of the facility space currently available to the charter school.

The Government of Alberta established charter schools in 1994 as part of a larger initiative to provide choice and to foster innovation in the public education system. Alberta is the only province in Canada that has charter schools. Currently there are 13 charter schools in Alberta serving approximately 7,800 students.

Reducing the administrative burden for established, effective charter schools is one of the initiatives under the 10-point plan for education announced in January.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Carolyn Stuparyk
Education Communications
Tel: 780-427-5451; cell: 780-934-5941
carolyn.stuparyk@gov.ab.ca

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.