if-july-2015Jennifer Wallner
Associate Professor
University of Ottawa

In Canada, like virtually all federations, the responsibility for elementary and secondary education falls to the provinces. And, through gradual devolution over the past few decades, the territories have gained greater autonomy such that now they have power over education akin to the provinces.

In contrast to the overwhelming majority of federations, however, Ottawa has never formally infiltrated the sector establishing a central authority to oversee and coordinate activity in this crucial policy area. Instead, the provinces, and now increasingly the territories, are left alone to independently manage their respective schooling systems.

As a consequence, Canada has an intensely federalized system of elementary and secondary education that sets it apart from most countries around the world.

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