Lesson 1 Summary

Key Points

  • School governance in the U.S. involves policy and players at Federal, state, local, and district levels. While broad policies and funding for special programs are set at the Federal level, states provide the majority of both education policy and funding for districts.
  • Because education policy is set at state and district levels, there is significant variation in curriculum, assessment, teacher quality, school funding, and other aspects of education.
  • States and districts have the authority to provide various types of schools and programs, including charter schools, which are publicly funded.
  • States provide most of the funding for schools through a combination of income, corporate, sales, and local property taxes; however, the proportion of school revenue from states varies widely.
  • Significant Federal funding streams exist to support learning such as Title I, whose goal is to improve the academic achievement of disadvantages students; Perkins, aimed at improving career and technical education; and Impact Aid.
  • Special populations such as English learners and students with special needs are supported by Federal laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ESEA, IDEA, and others. These laws protect the rights of special populations of students and ensure funding for their education.

Looking Forward: Learn about the ultimate goal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and how school districts are held accountable for student progress.