In his "Critique of the Gotha Programme," section IV part B, in response to the wording: "The German Workers' party demand as the intellectual and ethical basis of the state: 1. Universal and equal elementary education by the state. Universal compulsory school attendance. Free instruction."
Marx challenges the notion that education can be equal for all classes. In addition, he asserts that free theoretical and practical technical schools ought to be included along with elementary schools.
Marx points out that compulsory elementary education already existed in Germany, Switzerland and the United States. He then makes the statement: "if in some states of the latter country (U.S.) higher education institutions are also "free," that only means in fact defraying the cost of education of the upper classes from the general text receipts." In other words, free higher education benefits the upper classes by having that education paid for with public money. He also points out that there's a difference between government expenditures on schools and government as educator, asserting that both religious and government institutions be "equally excluded from any influence on the school," saying that the government needed "a very stern education from the people."
In The Communist Manifesto, we are offered a general statement on education. Marx writes: