Table of Contents
Education law—of which this institution’s mission, legal education, is a small subset—includes municipal, state, and federal law concerning elementary, secondary, and higher education. While federal education law initiatives and policies like No Child Left Behind and Guaranteed Student Loans are often well-publicized, jurisdiction over education is found among the traditional police powers of the states. This guide introduces a number of education law resources and serves as a solid starting point for researching any education law topic.
Moakley Law Library Catalog
The best search to run in the law library catalog is a keyword search.
The library has many databases available to current law students, faculty, and staff. Some of the databases relevant to education topics include the M.C.L.E. Library, JSTOR, and HeinOnline.
Secondary Sources of Law
The Law of Schools, Students and Teachers in a Nutshell / Kern Alexander and M. David Alexander. St. Paul. Minn.: Thomson/Reuters, 2009.
Law Reserve and Sawyer Reference KF4119.3 .A43.
Practical Education Law for the Twenty-First Century / Victoria Dodd. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2010.
Law Reserve and Special Collections KF4119 .D63
Education Law: A Problem-Based Approach / Scott F. Johnson and Sarah Redfield. New Providence, N.J.: LexisNexis Matthew Bender, 2009.
5th Floor KF4119 .J62
Education Law / James Rapp. New York, N.Y.: M. Bender, 1984-.
5th Floor KF4119 .R36
Multiple volumes. Also available on Lexis.
Special Education Law in Massachusetts / Rhoda E. Schneider, ed. Boston, Mass.: MCLE, 2010.
Law Reserve and Sawyer 4th Floor KFM2795.9.H3 S64
School Law in Massachusetts / Rhoda E. Schneider, ed. Boston, Mass.: MCLE, 2010
Law Reserve KFM2790 .S354 2003 (Supp. 2010).
Journals and Databases of Scholarly Materials
Education Law Journal, Brigham Young University
Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
EPAA is a peer-reviewed education policy journal that published articles written in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Journal of College and University Law , University of Notre Dame
Journal of Law and Education, University of South Carolina
Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
ERIC is the DOE catalog of journal articles, books, policy papers, technical reports, and other education-related materials, with links to full-text materials where available.
Chronicle of Higher Education database on Westlaw: CHONHIGHED
West’s Education Law Reporter – Full text of selected articles on education law issues.
Westlaw database: WELR
available in the Library at KF4110 .A2 W47
Federal Web Pages
U.S. Department of Education (DOE)
DOE sets policy on and administers education funding, gathers data on schools nationwide, and enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in school programs that receive federal funds. The Policy tab of DOE’s website is devoted to legislation, regulation and policy guidance; the Research tab provides useful data and analysis.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. Its periodical, Education Statistics Quarterly, offers a comprehensive overview of work done across the Center.
National Library of Education
The federal government’s main resource center for education information and a component of the U.S. Department of Education, NLE provides access on its website to several searchable databases on education policy, practice and law.
U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract: Education
The Census Bureau compiles data collected from a variety of federal agencies; this section of its website presents raw education data.
U.S. Census Bureau, American Fact Finder: Education
The Census Bureau prepared this amalgamation of education data analysis.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, links federal funding of public school districts with annual standardized test performance. The NCLB site, maintained by the U.S. Department of Education, tracks reauthorization and reform developments.
Massachusetts Web Pages
Massachusetts State Laws and Regulations
This site functions as a clearinghouse for full-text legislation, regulations, and proposed regulations on education-related topics in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE)
ESE is the arm of state government that develops education policy and administers elementary and secondary education.
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE)
A statutorily created agency responsible for defining the mission of and coordinating the Commonwealth’s system of public higher education.
UMass Amherst Libraries: Open Educational Resources
The open education initiative encourages free and open access to educational materials and resources online, in response to the rising costs of education materials. UMass Amherst Libraries compiled this clearinghouse of open education resources and information for teachers, students, and advocates.
Research Centers and Advocacy Organizations
Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings
The Brown Center is a think-tank that aims to examine the problems of the American education system and help delineate practical solutions.
Center for Education Reform
The Center advocates and provides support and guidance for primary and secondary education reform, including information about current legislation and policies.
Center on Education Policy (CEP)
CEP advocates for public education and more effective public schools. The site’s Publications page provides access to a wide variety of reports and articles on education policy in PDF form.
Education Commission of the States (ECS)
ECS is an interstate compact created in 1965 to help states improve public education by providing guidance, research, and analysis, and by facilitating interstate collaboration and long-range strategic thinking.
Education Law Association (ELA)
ELA is a member organization that compiles information for lawyers, academics, and school administrators about legal issues affecting elementary, secondary, and higher education.
Education Law Center
ELC provides assistance to parents of children with disabilities, and their attorneys.
Education Policy Center at the Urban Institute
The Education Policy Center conducts research on education reforms and use of federal education funding, and explores connections between schools and housing affordability, neighborhood revitalization, immigrant integration, children’s well-being, crime, and work-readiness.
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
HSLDA is a member organization that advocates for homeschooling and offers resources to parents and attorneys, including state-by-state legal information under the My State link.
National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA): Legal Reference Service
The Legal Reference Service page on the NACUA web site offers summaries on recent courts decisions in higher education law and links to a variety of other resources.
National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE)
Affiliated with Teachers College at Columbia University, NCSPE conducts research, evaluation and conferences, and publishes and disseminates information, on education privatization from pre-school to higher education.
National School Boards Association (NSBA)
A nonprofit founded in 1940, NSBA represents local school board members in over 13,000 school districts. The website provides information and services to school boards, including weekly summaries of education-related Congressional activity and “Legal Clips” on pertinent appellate court decisions.
Public Agenda is a nonprofit organization that seeks to “improve democratic problem solving” through opinion surveys on a range of issues including education.
Other Internet Education Law Links
Legal Information Institute at Cornell University section on Education Law
Hieros Gamos topical section on Education Law
Findlaw resources on Education Law
Primary Sources of Law
Federal Statutes and Regulations
United States Code, Title 20: Education
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1232g
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.
Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA), 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1701 et seq.
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111-152
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34: Education
Regulations promulgated under FERPA: 34 C.F.R. Sec. 99.1 et seq.
Regulations promulgated under IDEA: 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.1 et seq.
Massachusetts Statutes and Regulations
Gen. Laws. Chapter 69 Sec. 1 et seq. Powers and Duties of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Gen. Laws Chapter 71 Sec. 1 et seq. Public Schools
Gen. Laws. Chapter 71B Children with Special Needs
Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 603 C.M.R. Sec. 1 et seq.
This guide was created by Elizabeth Feldman, Moakley Law Library Research Assistant.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email: Ellen Delaney
Legal Reference Librarian.
Last modified: October 14, 2011.