Common Questions

Schools, Students, and Special Education

Education is one of many functions of both the state and federal governments. The federal government has an interest in education; however, each state has primary responsibility for the maintenance and operation of its own public schools. Every state has a constitutional requirement to provide a public school system, and state legislatures have the authority to ensure the system remains consistent with the state’s constitution. This authority is usually delegated to a state board of education.

Common issues in education and school law include equality in education; parents’ rights to direct their children’s education; constitutional freedoms such as freedom of religion and the freedom of speech; special education issues based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq.); and public and private funding. Some important federal education statutes include:

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