Public school in the USA

In every state in America, children have a right to education. Public school is a free school available to all citizen and non-citizen children. On this page you will learn about American education laws and rights, education levels in the U.S. education system, how to register your child for public school, staff at your child’s school, public school activities, how you can help your child in school, if your child should go to school, and other kinds of schools in the USA.

male teacher helping child in classroom
Photo: iStock

Read about the public school system and the different types and levels of school. Learn how to register your children for school and help them do well. Meet the people who work at public schools. Understand what they do and how they can help your child.

What are American education laws and rights?

Education law says everyone has a right to free education. Students have the right to wear a hijab and to pray. You have a right to interpreters when you talk to your children’s school. Learn about education law in the USA and your education rights.

What are the levels in the U.S. education system? What is school placement?

In the USA, public school starts between the age of 4 and 6 and continues until 16 to 18 years old. But you can send your children to pre-school at an early age. Learn about the different levels of school. Read about school placement.

How do I register my child in public school?

To start your child at school in the USA, you must first register your child as a student. This means you need to visit the school and sign papers so the school can accept your child. Learn what papers you need and about how your child is accepted. Read about school food and school requirements. Learn what to do if your child is absent and how to get to school.

Who are the school staff in my child’s school?

Many people work in American schools. There are teachers, of course, but there are other people who are there to help your child. Learn about some of the people you will meet at your child’s school.

What activities can my child do at public school?

Schools in the USA do more than provide lessons. Schools and other organizations offer other great opportunities, such as field trips, outside activities, events, after-school programs, and summer camps. Find out how to help your child participate in school activities.

How can I help my child in school?

Starting school is both exciting and hard. You will need to help your child in school. Learn how to support your children in their school life and help them succeed. Find out about tutoring support for your child.

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Does my child have to go to public school?

Children must go to school in the United States. If you do not send your children to school, you can get in trouble.

You can choose what type of school to send your children to. Most children go to public school because it is free.

Are there other kinds of schools?

In the USA, there are other ways to educate children instead of public school.

Private schools

There are private schools that students must pay to attend. Many private schools are managed by churches or religious organizations. Each private school has different costs. Some are very expensive. But some have scholarships to help children go to school if the family does not have enough money to pay for the private school. Private schools often have different rules than public schools.

Charter schools

Another type of school is a charter school. Charter schools are free. Charter schools meet the same academic and legal requirements as traditional public schools, but they have different administrators than public schools, which are operated by the government. Charter schools do not have to follow all the rules that public schools must follow. Your child will need to apply to enroll, and many charter schools have a waiting list.

Home schooling

Home schooling is another method of education. Home-schooled students are taught by their parents. There are rules in every state about home schooling. The parent is responsible for knowing the state’s rules for home schooling and for making sure the rules are followed.