School Systems

State education includes basic education, kindergarten to twelfth grade, also referred to as primary and secondary education, as well as post-secondary educational institutions such as universities, colleges, and technical schools funded and overseen by government rather than private entities.

State education is inclusive, both in its treatment of students and in that enfranchisement for the government of public education is as broad as for government generally. It is often organized and operated to be a deliberate model of the civil community in which it functions. Although typically provided to groups of students in classrooms in a central school, it may be provided in-home, employing visiting teachers,and/or supervising teachers. It can also be provided in non-school, non-home settings, such as shopping mall space.

State education is generally available to all. In most countries, it is compulsory for children to attend school up to a certain age, but the option of attending private school is open to many. In the case of private schooling, schools operate independently of the state and generally defray their costs (or even make a profit) by charging parents tuition fees. The funding for state schools, on the other hand, is provided by tax revenues, so that even individuals who do not attend school (or whose dependents do not attend school) help to ensure that society is educated. In poverty stricken societies, authorities are often lax on compulsory school attendance because child labour is exploited. It is these same children whose income-securing labor cannot be forfeited to allow for school attendance.

The term "public education" when applied to state schools is not synonymous with the term "publicly funded education". Government may make a public policy decision that it wants to have some financial resources distributed in support of, and it may want to have some control over, the provision of private education. Grants-in-aid of private schools and...