Primary and Secondary Education

Find out where to get answers to common questions about primary and secondary education.

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Learn English

If you want to learn English or need to join an English as a Second Language (ESL) program for school or work, these resources can help you find local and online courses:

  • Schools or Nonprofit Organizations: If you live in the U.S., every state, county, and city has its own education programs and resources for learning English. If you have children, talk to their school staff,  or contact a community college, university, or nonprofit organization to find local programs.

  • Internet: Learn English from home with the website USALearns.org or download the application to your phone or tablet to practice on the go. Listen to ShareAmerica.gov for audio conversations to learn English.

  • Libraries: In some communities, libraries offer English classes and materials to study. Find a library near you.

If you are concerned that you might have been scammed or overcharged by an ESL program, contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint.

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Education in the U.S.

The Education System in the United States follows a pattern similar to other countries:

  • Early childhood (or pre-kindergarten) education
  • Primary (or elementary) school
  • Middle (or junior high) school 
  • Secondary (or high) school 
  • Postsecondary (college, career, or technical schools) education 

Most education policy is decided at the state and local levels. The federal government role in education is limited, but the Department of Education:

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Educational Programs for People with Disabilities

There are many educational resources and aid available to people with disabilities:

  • College bound students with intellectual disabilities may  be able to take advantage of special financial aid programs. The Federal Student Aid office can provide specific information on loans, grants, and scholarships, and application procedures.

  • Search Disability.gov for information and educational resources for people with disabilities.

  • Your state education department or your local community school board can tell you what programs are available in your state and answer questions on state laws regarding educational rights for people with disabilities.

  • The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) provides information on what federal educational aid is available and which federal laws provide educational rights.

  • You can also get in touch with  your school of choice for additional information on special programs for people with disabilities.

Disability Discrimination

  • Find answers to frequently asked questions about how disability laws apply to public schools districts, colleges, and universities.

  • If you feel you have been discriminated against in an educational institution, file a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education.

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Locating School Records

Elementary through Postsecondary Schools

To locate your school records, contact your former school. Administrators at the school should be able to tell you how to get your records.

This locator can help you find a school or college. You can search for a public school, private school, or college by city, state, zip code, or by school name.

If the school you went to closed, use this state contacts page for help locating the appropriate school district or state higher education agency. They should be able to help you get your records.

Locating Financial Aid Records and Repayment of School Loans (Closed School)

If the school you went to closed and you have questions about  repaying your loan, use these resources:

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Resources for Students, Parents and Teachers from Kids.gov

Kids.gov is the government’s official website for kids. It connects children, educators, and parents with educational resources and services from the government geared to the learning level and interest of children (age K-5) and adolescents (age 6-8).

You will find:

  • Lesson plans for educators

  • Information about school subjects such as reading and writing, social studies, health, art, and math

  • Interactive games and educational videos

  • Information about the states

  • Questions and answers about science, history, and U.S. government

If you want to receive information for parents and teachers on educational topics and resources, subscribe to e-mail from Kids.gov.

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