The United States has a decentralized education system based upon our federal Constitution, which reserves power over education to the states and local authorities, as well as to individual schools and higher education institutions.
The following links direct you to information on the different levels of organization in the U.S. education system and their roles. You may open these documents and link directly to the information sources, or you may save or print the pages and use them later.
General Information About U.S. Education [MS Word, 80K] provides information and links for laws and regulations, data sources, and research.
The Federal Role [MS Word, 77K] provides information and links for the principal federal agencies concerned with education.
The State Role provides information and links pertaining to state oversight of education at all levels.
The Local Role [MS Word, 81K] provides information and links related to the roles of local school districts, communities, and parents.
The School Level [MS Word, 94K] provides information and links describing the types of schools and their authority.
Tertiary Institutions [MS Word, 115K] provides information and links describing postsecondary career schools and higher education institutions and their authority.