The distribution of political power in Spain demonstrates many features of a federal system, with a complex and as yet variegated distribution of power (which is charted in this chapter with specific reference to education) between the central government and its administration, on the one hand, and the governments and administrations of the autonomous communities on the other. There are seventeen autonomous communities, only seven of which had assumed ‘full competency’ in the provision of education by the early 1990s, but a 1992 pact between the governing party, PSOE, and the leading party of the opposition, PP (Partido Popular), approved plans for the extension of educational responsibility to all the other communities by 1996-7 (and responsibility for universities as early as 1994-5). By 1997 the Central Government will control only 51 per cent of public expenditure. In those communities with full powers in education, the education department of the local government is the principal source of power, subject to central laws governing the basic parameters of the system, and the educational rights and duties of all citizens. In the other communities, education continues to be provided by the Ministry for Education and Science, either directly or through its provincial offices. The author also considers the municipalities whose role in education, although weaker than in most other European countries and limited to such matters as the provision of sites, maintenance, and janitors (thus creating a problematic duality of administration in potential conflict with the bureaucracy of the Educational Administration), has shown signs of development and in some areas, such as Barcelona, there is a tradition of more active municipal involvement in mainstream educational provision. Municipalities can help define training needs, provide nursery education and continuing adult education, language and music education, and participate in schools’ educational planning.