How Unequal Are Their Vertical Equity Measures? A Comparison of Three Canadian Provinces

  • Xiaobin Li Brock University


The purpose of this study was to compare the foundation allocation and three special allocations for special-needs students, ESL students, and students with low socioeconomic status in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia to see what these special allocations look like as vertical equity measures. Because stronger measures are needed if educational equality of opportunity is the goal, measuring how strong vertical equity efforts are is a highly relevant topic. The data were obtained from ministries of education. The data were analyzed and compared to understand the similarities and differences in their equity measures. The results indicate that although Ontario provides the least in the pupil foundation allocation, it provides more assistance through two allocations: the ESL allocation and the allocation for low socioeconomic status students. The possible implications of the differences in the foundation allocation and the special allocations are discussed.

Author Biography

Xiaobin Li, Brock University
Xiaobin Li is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education.