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Education Law

A guide for finding laws, regulations, cases, books, articles, and online-only sources on education-related law topics

Washington State Agencies

U.S. Government Documents

U.S. Department of Education, ED PUBS
Search or browse by topic, audience, and education level.


U.S. Government Accountability Office, Reports & Testimonies
A nonpartisan independent agency that investigates government-funded programs. Contains reports and other information related to Postsecondary Education Access and Affordability.


Department of Education opinions and orders Opinions and orders from the Department and its Office of Hearings and Appeals, Education Appeals Board, and Civil Rights Reviewing Authority; 1987 - .
Education Department Documents Includes press releases, transcripts, reports, notices and regulations; Nov. 2007 - .

Non-Law Databases

See the UW Libraries Education research guide for more information about UW restricted databases and other resources. The most useful databases include:


U.S. Department of Education's Data & Research
Provides links to evaluation, reports, and statistics produced by organizations within the Department, including:

Institute of Education Sciences
National Center for Education Statistics
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services


National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
The "primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education" compiles:

Education Statistics Quarterly: "a comprehensive overview of work done across all of NCES;" arranged by date (from 1999) and by topic.
Education Finance Statistics Center: "finance information on public elementary/secondary education;" includes graphs, data, finance tools, information about individual states, etc.
Common Core of Data: "fiscal and non-fiscal data about all public schools, public school districts and state education agencies in the United States;" offers tools to allow researchers to create customized tables.
Digest of Education Statistics: a "compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school;" 1995 - .
See also the Electronic Catalog to search all available NCES reports and data online.

United States Census Bureau

United States Census Bureau 
Data on:

See also the American FactFinder to access information provided by the Census and the UW Libraries' Research Guide to the US Census.

Statistical Insight and Statistical Abstract to the United States [UW Restricted]
Indexes statistics produced by government agencies and other organizations.

Policy Sources


Education Commission of the States
Multi-state reports, research studies, online databases, and many more resources, often divided by topic.

States' Impact on Federal Education Policy Project (SIFEPP)
"A continually growing public resource on the role of states in shaping pre-K–12 federal education policy since the mid-twentieth century." Includes a bibliography, names of education policymakers, a chronology of education developments, and digitized educational records.

U.S. Department of Education
Many research and policy reports, with specific categories on:

  • No Child Left Behind
  • Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement: although no longer updated since its contract with the Department of Education ended in 2009, the Center is still a good source of pre-2009 information, with over 4,000 reports, abstracts, and other information about school reform; you can search its collection and browse by topic.
  • National Charter School Resource Center: funded by the Department of Education, the Center "serves as a national center to provide on-demand resources, information, and technical assistance to support successful planning, authorizing, implementation, and sustainability of high-quality charter schools; to share evaluations on the effects of charter schools; and to disseminate information about successful practices in charter schools."

Campus Legal Information Clearinghouse 
A partnership between the American Council on Education and the Catholic University of America. Covers federal laws, cases, and other resources relating to higher education.

Research Centers

Brookings Institute Brown Center on Education Policy
Examines "the challenges facing the American education system" and proposes "practical policy solutions."  Browse reports by topic and/or the annual Brown Center Report on American Education, which analyzes the state of education in America.

Urban Institute Education Policy Center
"Coordinates studies focused on family and neighborhood factors that influence school performance and educational success, the potential of alternative school improvement and reform initiatives, the effectiveness of both K–12 and post-secondary systems in preparing young people for careers, strategies for helping at-risk youth stay and succeed in school, and school financing mechanisms."

National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education
"provides independent, non-partisan information on and analysis of privatization in education."  Includes has a catalog of reports, 2001 - .

Public Agenda
A New York-based nonprofit and nonpartisan organization researching and compiling opinion surveys on a wide range of issues, including education; specific topics include higher education and K-12 education.

Advocacy Groups

American Civil Liberties Union
Concerned with several education issues, such as women's rightsstudent speech, and disability rights in education.

Center on Education Policy
Advocates for more effective public schools. Provides an overview of the Common Core; information on federal education programs, including NCLB and and IDEA; and state testing data, among other information.

Center for Education Reform
Promotes "structural and sustainable changes that can dramatically improve educational opportunities."  Publications are listed by topic, with many resources on education policies in individual states.

Home School Legal Defense Organization 
A "nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms." Publishes the Home School Court Report, a quarterly newsletter that provides case law and legislation updates related to home schooling.

School Reform Organizations

Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University
A "national policy-research and reform support organization that promotes quality education for all children, especially in urban communities. The Institute's primary lines of inquiry include school transformation, college and career readiness, and extended learning time." Publishes VUE (Voice of Urban Education); search other publications by topic and date

Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE)
Affiliated with UW-Bothell. Researches "innovative, pragmatic, equitable, and successful ways to address the complex challenges in public education." Browse research topics or search for recent publications. Includes substantial research on Washington State education.

Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement
Although its contract with the Department of Education has ended, the resources and information published by this Center are still available on its website. Browse by topic.

Coalitions & Associations

Council of the Great City Schools
A coalition of 65 urban school districts. Search for publications or review the page of legislative updates.

National Education Association (NEA)
The professional employee organization that represents members at all levels of education. The Reference Center that includes rankings and statistics about schools; updated information on state legislation; and tools for teachers.

National School Boards Association
Includes more than 90,000 school boards. See the Council of School Attorneys for information about school law issues and a resource library that includes amicus briefs, reports, and school law resources. The Center for Public Education has research data and information.

Public Education Network
Search for publications in the catalog. The site is not being updated.

The School Superintendents Association (AASA)
Advocates "for the highest quality public education for all students, and develops and supports school system leaders." See the resources page.

Other Websites

Brown v. Board of Education Digital Archives

Maintained by an attorney who represents children with special needs, this web site is full of useful information, including legislation, court decisions and briefs related to special education.