Education law encompasses the right to a free and appropriate public education, as well as issues with school safety and discipline, special education, and student civil rights. Attorneys who practice education law may be skilled or focused on several of these legal areas.
Education law encompasses issues in the education system pertaining to students, parents, teachers, schools, and school districts. Some of the laws that provide protections for education include:
- Title IX: Title IX is a federal law that protects against gender discrimination in public schools. It is often associated with equality in athletics programs, but also covers academic opportunities as well.
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): IDEA ensures that children with learning disabilities have access to a public education that is appropriate to the individual child’s educational needs and goals.
- No Child Left Behind Act: The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) intends to hold schools and school districts accountable to ensure that students in public schools perform at grade level. NCLB also ensures that students attend safe schools, that teachers are qualified for the subjects they teach, and that student and school performance is measured through yearly standardized testing.
- United States Constitution: Students at public schools must be afforded certain rights, including due process and free speech under the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, public schools must not promote or favor religion.
- State and Local Laws: Various state and local laws may provide additional protections and regulations regarding education.
A lawsuit against the school or school district may be appropriate if the school refuses to remedy a violation of law. A government attorney experienced in the area of education and schools can help parents determine the best course of action regarding discrimination or other action by a school or school district, particularly where a violation of Constitutional rights may be involved.