Since their political reorientation that started in the late 1980s, the Baltic states have experienced profound social reforms to rebuild their democratizing societies. Education has featured as a key vehicle to this transformation process of overcoming the limitations of the Soviet past. National legislative frameworks were therefore soon provided to restructure educational systems and allow for 'liberal' approaches to schooling. The process of policy-making for a new concept of education, however, entailed numerous challenges, and it has resulted in a diverse tapestry of educational provision across the Baltic. With specific focus on minority education, this paper presents a comparative analysis of education policies and practices in contemporary Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in response to emerging language needs in these intensely multiethnic settings.