There have been no major changes in the nature of regulation governing K-12 distance and online learning.
Table 1. Summary of the K-12 distance and online learning regulation by jurisdiction
|Legislation||Policy Handbook||Agreements||Memorandum of Understanding|
As a reminder, while many provinces and territories continue to have some reference to distance education in the Education Act or Schools Act, in most instances these references simply define distance education or gives the Minister of Education in that province or territory the ability to create, approve or regulate K-12 distance education. Many of these references have also become antiquated given the present realities of K-12 distance and online learning. The only provinces where this is not the case are Nova Scotia (e.g., collective agreement signed between the Government of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union) and British Columbia (e.g., section 3.1 and section 75 (4.1) of the School Act, 2006, as well as section 8.1 of the Independent School Act, 2006).
The most dominant trend affecting the regulation of K-12 distance and online learning is that approximately a third of all jurisdictions use policy handbooks to regulate K-12 distance and online learning; sometimes in combination with a formal agreement or contract.
The main difference in the regulation of K-12 e-learning comes from Quebec, where a 2017 amendment to the Loi sur l’instruction publique has allowed the Minister to develop and implement distance education pilot projects (although there have been no pilot projects created thus far).