How Public Schools Work

public school
College Image Gallery About 50 million American children attend public schools. Krisanapong detraphiphat / Getty Images

As much as children grumble about going to school, it is absolutely essential to their development. It is there that they learn to read, write, add and subtract, and understand history. They also learn how to get along with their peers, and they develop the skills that will one day help them succeed as adults.

By far, the majority of children in the United States-almost 50 million of them- learn all of these things at public schools. In this article, we will look at how public education began in this country, see some of the challenges modern public schools face, and find out just how much money goes into teaching America's children.