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Sandra Vergari

Scholars endorsing claims of territorial restructuring and society-centered governance argue that policymaking power is being dispersed away from central governments. Other scholars reject these claims. They argue that governments continue to use hierarchical governance modes and are enhancing their capacity by working with non-state actors. This chapter examines whether the thesis of dispersed governance applies to elementary and secondary education policy in Canada and the United States – two mature, diverse federations with much in common. Provinces in Canada and states in the United States have long held most of the power over education policy and historically devolved substantial authority to school districts. In recent decades, education governance has been increasingly centralized at the provincial and state levels. Meanwhile, school district power in both countries remains significant. There is not an overall trend of education governance without government in Canada and the United States.