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Education in the United States is mainly provided by the public sector, with control and funding coming from three levels: state, local, and federal, in that order. Child education is compulsory, and there are also a large number and wide variety of higher education institutions throughout the country that one can choose to attend, both publicly and privately administered. Public education is universally available. School curricula, funding, teaching, employment, and other policies are set through locally elected school boards with jurisdiction over school districts with many directives from state legislatures. School districts are usually separate from other local jurisdictions, with independent officials and budgets. Educational standards and standardized testing decisions are usually made by state governments. The ages for compulsory education vary by state. It begins from ages five to eight and ends from ages fourteen to eighteen. Compulsory education requirements can generally be satisfied by educating children in public schools, state-certified private schools, or an approved home school program. In most public and private schools, education is divided into three levels: elementary school, middle school, and high school. (via Freebase)