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US Virgin Islands, Education and Government

Education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16. Free schooling is provided in elementary and secondary schools. In the 1992-1993 school year the islands' 62 public elementary schools had an annual enrollment of 14,500 pupils. The College of the Virgin Islands (1962), a public institution on Saint Thomas, had an annual enrollment of about 2,550 students.

From 1917, when the United States acquired the Virgin Islands, to 1931 the islands were governed by the Department of the Navy. In 1931 jurisdiction was transferred to the Department of the Interior, and a civil governor was appointed by the president. Since 1970 the governor has been popularly elected. The unicameral legislature is elected for two-year terms and is composed of 15 senators, 5 each from Saint Croix and Saint Thomas, 1 from Saint John, and 4 at large. Executive power is vested in an elected governor and lieutenant governor, an attorney general appointed by the governor, and other officials. The government comptroller is appointed by the secretary of the interior, and the judge of the district court is appointed by the president of the United States.

 
 

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