In addition to the consistency in the nature of K-12 distance and online learning programs in each jurisdiction, there also continues to be little change 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|
It should be noted that 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. Further, many of these references have also become antiquated, given the present realities of K-12 distance and online learning. The only jurisdictions that have meaningful legislative regulation continue to be 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 second most dominant trend in the nature of regulation 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. Finally, all three of the territories have formal memorandums of understanding with programs in the southern provinces to access their distance learning opportunities.