Public policy is where a community’s values, resources, and regulations intersect. Educational policies establish the goals, means, and measures for educational practice. These can include how educators are prepared to teach, the amount of instructional time required for student promotion, the conceptual ideas (curriculum and standards) students engage with, and the ways in which students (and teachers) demonstrate proficiency. Policy also directs the availability and use of taxpayer funds in education, such as determining the criteria (e.g., enrollment, poverty level, special needs) for allocating resources to districts and schools.

For the most part, in the United States, educational policies are focused on public schooling, across PreK–12 and higher education. This entry discusses the few cases where educational policy directly affects out-of-school time (OST) programs, the several ...

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