Many studies in the economic field have showed the importan-ce of education to increase the wellbeing of the society. Trying to improve the educational indicators, in the 90’s, many changes were implemented in the Brazilian public school system. The objective of the present study is to evaluate school infrastructure and family characteristics affecting children’s decision to study or to drop out from school (frequency and school delay in primary and secondary levels), comparing the urban and rural areas of Pernambuco and São Paulo. The results showed that poli-cies that would increase parents’ schooling and/or family income would increase frequency and decrease delay in school. However, policies that would improve the schools’ infrastructure and consequently the quality of the schools would have to take the socio-economic aspects of the region into consideration as well as the type of objective to be reached. Moreo-ver, the investments should be focused on rural areas where educational indicators are far behind.