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State schools (known as public schools in some parts of the world)[note 1] are generally primary or secondary
While such schools are to be found in virtually every country, there are significant variations in their structure and educational programs. State education generally encompasses primary and secondary education (
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 organised 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
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 vouchers systems provide examples of publicly funded private education. Conversely, a state school (including one run by a school district) may rely heavily on private funding such as high fees or private donations and still be considered state by virtue of governmental ownership and control.
State primary and secondary education often involves the following:
In some countries (such as Germany), private associations or churches can operate schools according to their own principles, as long as they comply with certain state requirements. When these specific requirements are met, especially in the area of the school curriculum, the schools will qualify to receive state funding. They are then treated financially and for accreditation purposes as part of the state education system, even though they make decisions about hiring and school policy (not hiring atheists, for example), which the state might not make itself.