Education Law Selected Bibliography

Overview: The Education Law Selected Bibliography will identify useful Education Law resources available at the St. Thomas University School of Law, and also several useful public internet resources. Education Law is an area of law covering legal issues within a school setting. Areas include laws governing school administration and finance, student rights, student responsibilities, and employee rights and responsibilities. Also, there are Constitutional issues concerning the separation of Church and State, as well as discrimination against people on the basis of disability, national origin, race, and sex. Education Law is governed by both federal and state law. Accordingly, effective legal research includes understanding the need to research both the federal and state laws affecting a particular legal issue.

This guide will be structured by (1) Education Law - Secondary Sources, (2) Education Law - Primary Sources, and (3) Education Law and Policy Internet Sources.

(1) Education Law - Secondary Sources

The Law of Schools, Students and Teachers in a Nutshell (5th ed. 2015) / by Kern Alexander and M. David Alexander.

  • This nutshell summarizes the major Education Law topics, citing to major cases and statutes. Why use a nutshell? You will get an overview of major Education Law issues, and you can learn Education Law legal terminology and build a good foundation to better understand case law and statutes.
  • Call Number: KF4119.3 .A43 2015
  • Location: St. Thomas University Law Library Study Aids

Encyclopedia of Law and Higher Education (2010) / by Charles J. Russo.

  • This encyclopedia, edited by Charles Russo, specifically covers various legal issues affecting higher education. The encyclopedia provides a clear and concise process for legal research, with entries arranged alphabetically. This resource is also useful because each entry directs readers to related legal concepts that are discussed in the encyclopedia (whether entries or cases), provides a list of suggested readings (e.g., journal articles on the issue), and lists legal citations.
  • Call Number: KF4225.A68 E53 2010
  • Location: St. Thomas University Law Library Reference

Gale Encyclopedia of American Law (3d. ed. 2011)

  • The topics include a general history, a description of federal and state law, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure, Separation of Church and State, Racial Segregation, Education of Children with Disabilities, Employment Issues, and Administrative Issues. This source is written in plain English and designed to provide legal information to non-legally trained individuals. Still, the encyclopedia provides good background knowledge about key Education Law issues.
  • Call Number: KF154 .W47 2011
  • Location: St. Thomas University Law Library Reference

Education Law (James A. Rapp, ed.)

  • This seven-volume set provides extensive coverage of state and federal Education Law. The set also has forms and reference material, including tables that list applicable state statutes for several major Education Law topics. By far the most inclusive Education Law source, it is often utilized by practitioners.
  • Access Available on LexisNexis (search RAPP in LexisNexis' "Find a Source").

Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts (2009) / by Rebell, Michael A.

  • This book outlined successful steps for litigating Education Law in state court, discussed policy and constitutional issues, and looked at legal mechanisms (e.g., injunctions) that courts used to ensure that students received a more equal education. A good read for those interested in a career related to Education Law.
  • STU Access: St. Thomas University students have access to this work through the Digital Library, in EBSCO's eBook Collection.

(2) Education Law - Primary sources


At the law library, you have access to the official United States Code and Annotated Codes, as well as the Code of Federal Regulation in print and online.

Resource Description Location
United States Code (U.S.C.) Majority of education statutes are codified in Title 20 (Education). Unclassified Collection- North Reading Room
United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.) West's annotated version can provide citations to cases interpreting the education code. Unclassified Collection- North Reading Room
United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.) LexisNexis' annotated version of the code. Unclassified Collection- North Reading Room
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Majority of education regulations are in Title 34 (Education). Unclassified Collection- North Reading Room

Research tip: Start your research with secondary sources and case law. This research will direct you to the relevant code section, which could otherwise be difficult to find. The majority of education statutes may be in Title 20 of the U.S.C., but relevant education topics are found in various parts of the code. For example, Special Education Laws are primarily found in Title 20, but also are located in 29 U.S.C. §§ 701-718 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and in 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. (The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Key Federal Education-Related Acts

Those interested in significant education-related acts can take a look at the statutes and the legislative histories for:

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), P.L. 91-230, codified as amended at 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq. The pivotal Special Education Law legislation that helped ensure children with special needs would receive an education that would account for their disabilities.
  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425 (2001), majority codified in Chapter 70 of Title 20, 20 U.S.C. § 6301 et seq. This act created additional standards for secondary education to include: testing and teacher/school accountability.
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill Education Assistant Act, P.L. 110-252, codified in 33 U.S.C. §§ 3301, 3311-3324. This legislation revamped veteran's education benefits and ensured that veterans would have enough financial support to pursue a college education).


Finding an authorizing statute's corresponding regulations:

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules in CFR Index and Finding Aids:

  • The Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules is a finding aid that helps locate a regulation's authorizing statute. The Index also has a subject based index to find relevant sections by subject.
  • Location: Unclassified Collection- North Reading Room
  • Public Access: Available at

Federal Administrative Decisions

Congress has granted the Department of Education's Secretary the authority to adjudicate certain education-related legal issues. A Secretary's decision constitutes a final agency decision, and is generally the last administrative adjudicatory act before an appeal to federal court. You may end up researching these cases out of interest in the type of disputes heard, or are researching a federal case's procedural history.

Decisions of the Secretary (1989-present): Final agency decisions over cases adjudicated by the Secretary . Available online through the Department of Education (

The Department of Education also has decisions issues by the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). This office has divided education legal issues amongst four adjudicatory units:

  • Office of Higher Education Appeals (adjudicates cases arising under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965). (Public online coverage is from 1989-present).
  • The Office of Administrative Law Judges (adjudicates cases that involve Federal impact aid, civil rights, recovery of funds, and general matters delegated by the Secretary of Education).
  • The Civil Rights Reviewing Authority (supervises administrative hearings and reviews and issues decisions for administrative appeals that fall under the non-discrimination provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973).
    • STU Law Access: Available on LexisNexis (coverage from January 14, 1966 through January 14, 1997).
  • The Alternative Dispute Resolution Center is set up to oversee an informal process that resolves U.S. Department of Education employee and job applicant disputes, work related complaints, and disagreements. The organization maintains an internal database of complaints/grievances that is not accessible to the public.

Education Case Law Searching (Federal and State)

  • Westlaw's Education Tab
    • STU Law Access: STU law students, faculty, and staff can add the Education Law tab. This tab contains various education-related West databases, and includes the ability to search Education Law cases.
  • Lexis Nexis Education Law subtab
    • STU Law Access: STU law students, faculty, and staff can search Education Law resources in Lexis Advance: Browse ? Topics ? Education Law

State Law and Regulations

Education Commission of the States - "State Legislation By State" Page

  • The Education Commission of the States compiled links to online state statutes and administrative codes. Note: while states provide online copies of the statutes and administrative codes, these are typically unofficial sources, and should not be cited as the official sources.
  • Public Access:

Education Law and Policy Internet Sources

Education Databases and Resources


  • The U.S. Department of Education sponsors the ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) database, which is the most comprehensive education database, with over a million records. (1966 to present)

EBSCO - Academic Search Premier

  • Academic Search Premier is an extensive academic database with thousands of titles, and assists cross-discipline research.
    • STU Access: Academic Search Premier - link on the Main Library e-Research Page.

Free Legal Education Law Resources

FindLaw's Education Law Center

  • FindLaw's Education Law Center is a part of FindLaw, a web site that provides legal access to the public. There are statutes, regulations, and limited federal and state cases. This link brings you to the Education Law center, which provides articles that summarize key education topics.

Public Interest Groups

Editorial Projects in Education

  • The Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) publishes Education Week, and tracks Education Law developments. Their mission is to raise awareness of issues facing American schools. This web site has links to Education Week articles, blogs, and various education studies.

National Education Association (NEA)

  • NEA is the largest education association. They provide instruction tools for educators and report on education issues. The organization also tracks and comments on major statutes and cases affecting schools and educators.

Education Commission of the States

  • Education Commission of the States is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages discourse among today's educators and school officials. The organization's goal is to promote the development of sound policies and standards that will improve the American education system. The web site includes current reports, information on state government (officials, laws and regulations), and resources for education.

Education Law Research Guides

Special Education Law / Georgia State University College of Law

  • This Libguide's full title is, "Special Education Law: Resources to Help You Advocate for Your Special Education Child." This resource concentrates on special Education Laws and legal options available to parents. Content is divided by home, secondary, primary, and interest groups and associations.

Georgetown Law Library's Education Law Research Guide

  • This research guide is one of the better Education Law research guides available. Beyond providing legal primary and secondary source information, this guide can direct you to sources that will help you keep up with the changes in Education Law (e.g., identifies think tanks, news sources, and legislative material for proposed laws and regulations).