American elites are quick to praise our northern neighbor when it applies more strict governmental controls than we do. Their silence is noteworthy, though, whenever Canada privatizes.
In Canada, as in the U.S., parents are concerned about the lack of competition and choice for schools in each of the 10 provinces.
Yet and still, the Canadian Fraser Institute found that education improves when the parents have a choice about where their children attend school.
Recent statistics show a lack of choice and competition in public education.
- 87.5% of students in British Columbia and Quebec and 98.8% of students in Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island attend Canada’s K-12 public schools.
- The main language is Anglophone, except for Quebec where it is Francophone.
- Language Immersion public schools are offered in all 10 districts. Francophone in all schools except Quebec, where it is Anglophone. The enrollment varies from 0.4% in Newfoundland & Labrador to 28.2% in New Brunswick.
- Religious schools, the majority of which are Roman Catholic, are another public school option. The enrollment varies from 21.15% of the student population in Saskatchewan to 30.3% in Ontario.
- Charter schools provide another option that offersalternative education programs.
- The enrollment in principal language schools, alternative language schools,immersion language programs, separate religious public schools, and charter schools vary from 87.5% in British Columbia/Quebec to 98.8% in Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island.
- Every province offers independent schools which are an alternative to the public school system. The funding ranges from province to province, from a variance of 0.9% in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to 12.5% in Quebec, 121.1% British Columbia, Manitoba 7.4% and Ontario 5.1%
- All 10 provinces permit home schooling.
While the merit of schools differs from province to province, Canada has a variety of education options in each province. Moreover, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the dominance of public schools and a free market education. For example, Alberta has 6 fully funded public schools; yet, it is the most competitive and best school system in Canada.