Edmonton school District No. 7 was established February 3, 1885 under the Northwest Territories Department of Education, and is the oldest school district in what is now Alberta.
The first Edmonton Public School Board included Donald Ross, Matthew McCauley, and W. S. Robertson. [City of Edmonton Archives EA-10-2939]
Very quickly, the newly minted trustees established the foundation for Edmonton Public Schools, and plans were made to build the Edmonton School. As the dream of a school system became reality, financial issues loomed. How would the teacher be paid? Very quickly, student fees were turned down in favour of a free school. In the short term, a subscription model was used, but the majority of the funding was to be paid by the founders. After a fierce debate and vote in 1885, the school system was provided taxation authority, ensuring the cost of a public school was carried by the community, and therefore available for all children. This was the first time a recognized form of local government imposed taxes on residents of the Edmonton community.