"Although educational levels in Mexico have improved substantially in recent decades, the country still faces daunting problems. Education is one of the Government of Mexico's highest priorities and it has increased the education budget 7.2% over 1996 to $15 billion for 1997 — one-fourth of the total budget. Education in Mexico is also being decentralized from federal to state authority in order to improve accountability.

Education is mandatory from ages six through 18. The increase in school enrollments during the past two decades has been dramatic. By 1994, an estimated 59% of the population between the ages of six and 18 were enrolled in school. Primary (including preschool) enrollment in public schools from 1970 through 1994 increased from less than 10 million to 17.5 million. Enrollment at the secondary public school level rose from 1.4 million in 1972 to as many as 4.5 million in 1994. A rapid rise also occurred in higher education. Between 1959 and 1994, college enrollments rose from 62,000 to more than 1.2 million."