Poland is a democratic state ruled by law. The Constitution of the Republic of Poland (Konstytucja Rzeczypospolitej polskiej) grants a number of rights regarding education. Pursuant to the Constitution, everyone has the right to education, which is compulsory until 18 years of age. Public authorities ensure universal and equal access to education for citizens. Education in public schools is free of charge (an Act of Parliament may allow public higher education institutions to charge fees for certain educational services). Parents have the right to choose schools other than public for their children. Citizens and institutions have the right to establish primary and post-primary schools and higher education institutions which are granted autonomy.
The territorial division of the Republic of Poland provides for the decentralisation of government. Local government is entrusted with a substantial part of public tasks in the field of education.