What is Education Law?

Education law is a specific branch of law relating to the legal rights and obligations of all parties involved in the educational process. This education policy branch supports the rights of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other educational stakeholders. Education laws cover various topics, including the right to education, special education, discrimination, and educational reform.

The United States Department of Education oversees the United States public school system and guarantees every student the right to receive a free and appropriate public education. Beyond this, each state has its own educational policies and systems. These education policies determine curriculum standards, compliance procedures, funding, and testing.

A common issue often addressed in educational law is special education. Special education is a type of education for students with special needs. Special needs might mean that the student learns differently, has an intellectual disability, or experiences an emotional or behavioral disorder. There are specific processes and laws that school districts must follow to ensure that these students are not discriminated against and receive an appropriate education.

Lawyers practicing in education law may tackle issues of education reform. Education reform refers to laws or policy changes passed to improve education. These are broader reform efforts like the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 designed to move educational progress forward. Title IX is another example of education reform passed to provide equal education rights to students of all genders.

Many complex issues addressed in the field of education law affect a large proportion of the United States population. Students, parents, prospective teachers, and other educators can benefit from studying educational law. Explore what Study.com offers on the topic below.

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Education Law & Policy Topics

Conflict Management

Learn about conflict resolution in schools by exploring four methods and universal principles. Read examples of conflict management strategies in schools.

Crisis Management

Learn about school crisis management. Discover how a crisis response plan can aid schools in crisis and explore examples of crisis situations in schools.

Educational Equity Law & Policy

Learn about equity in education and understand why it is important. Explore how educational equity works, review laws, and see how to promote equity in schools.

Federal Education Law & Policy

Explore the federal government's role in education. Find the levels of government involved in public school and see the federal role in education policy.

State and Federal Education Funding Models

Learn the differences between private and public schools. Discover who funds public schools, private schools, and when government funding is used for education.

Student Safety Law & Policy

Learn about school safety laws and policies. Discover the role of government agencies in school safety laws and explore model school safety policies and plans.

Students with Disabilities Law & Policy

Examine special education laws. Study policies such as 504 plans and Individualized Education Plans that ensure the rights of students with disabilities in schools.

Teacher Assessment and Evaluation Law & Policy

Explore the significance of teacher evaluation laws. Find out what a teacher evaluation is, understand its purpose, and see examples of teacher evaluation laws.

Education Law Resources

Study.com has numerous public policy education law resources to help students, educators, and parents better understand the policies and laws that guide the education system. Education law is a complex topic, but Study.com's resources make it more easily understandable. View the library of resources below and begin exploring the fascinating world of education law.

Education Law Courses

Study.com's library includes multiple self-paced courses that easily explain the complex education law field to help future educators get ahead on their degrees and understand federal education policy. Current educators can use the courses to brush up on educational law issues and policy analysis in education or start pursuing a different career in education. Parents will develop a more thorough understanding of their student's rights and how the education system works.

Education 103: Classroom Management

Current and prospective educators will learn practical techniques to manage a classroom of unique learners with this course. These self-paced lessons cover engagement, motivation, relationship-building, discipline, parent communication, and more.

Education 105: Special Education History & Law

This credit-offering course teaches the history of special education and how it has evolved to protect the rights of students with disabilities. It also covers the current laws and trends supporting those new to the subject of special education.

Institutional & Ethical Issues in Special Education

Use these short lessons to develop a deeper understanding of special education. This course includes lessons on assessment, behavior management, transition planning, and intervention strategies, among many other essential topics in special education.

Child Abuse & Neglect Training for Mandated Reporters

Learn all about being a mandated reporter with this course! All teachers and educators must legally report suspected child abuse or incidents of neglect. The quick lessons in this course give mandated reports the signs to recognize abuse and neglect.

Conflict Resolution in Schools

This self-paced course gives teachers everything they need to resolve different school conflicts. These quick lessons provide the foundations for identifying conflicts, managing classroom behaviors, and assessing school conflict resolution.

Additional Courses

Education Law & Policy Test Prep for Teachers and Students

Test Prep

Use Study.com's test prep guides on education law and policy to prepare to be an effective school administrator and to pass licensure exams. These courses cover important educational policies such as school governance, embracing diversity, providing special education services, and staff management. With this knowledge and tools, prospective school administrators will be able to make positive changes in their school environments and pass the required tests.


For teachers and parents

Education Law Lesson Plans for Teachers

Study.com also provides fantastic lesson plans for teachers. The Study.com Education Law Lesson Plans for teachers include a resource to help those who teach English Language Learners (ELL). Use the resources below to learn more about teaching ELL.

Lesson plans
  • Activities & Resources for Teaching ELL

    This self-paced course provides valuable tools, resources, and strategies to improve instruction for ELL students. The lesson plans in this collection cover various topics, from food to movies to holidays.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the United States education policy?

    Education policy in the United States is a set of laws and regulations that govern the operation of educational institutions and the provision of educational services. The United States Department of Education makes federal education policy at the national level, while state legislatures and local school boards make state and local education policies. The primary purpose of education policy is to ensure that all children in the United States have access to a quality education that will prepare them for adulthood and enable them to participate fully in society. Education policy also aims to promote equity and excellence by ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of their background or circumstances.

  • What are the laws on education in the United States?

    There are many laws regulating education in the United States. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) exists to ensure that every student attending a public school receives a quality education. Students' privacy, educational rights, and parents' rights fall under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Students with disabilities have specific rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Discrimination against students based on sex and race is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.