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Education Law

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


Both the U.S. federal and individual state governments regulate education-related issues. Comprehensive research involves consulting both federal and state laws, regulations, and cases.

Some of the most important federal laws related to education are:

  • 1988 - Bilingual Education Act (renamed English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act in 2002), codified at 20 USC §§ 6811 et seq.
  • 1994 - Goals 2000: Educate America Act, codified at 20 USC §§ 5801 et seq.
  • 1994 - Improving America’s Schools Act, codified at 20 USC §§ 6301 et seq.
  • 1997 - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended in 1997, Pub.L. 105-17.
  • 1998 - Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education (renamed Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006), codified at 20 USC §§ 2301 et seq.
  • 1998 - Higher Education Amendments of 1998, codified in scattered sections of 20 USC; Pub.L. 105-244.
  • 1999 - Education Flexibility Partnership Act, codified at 20 USC § 5891b.
  • 2001 - No Child Left Behind Act (reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act), codified in scattered sections of 20 USC; Pub.L. 107-110.
  • 2002 - Education Sciences Reform Act (P.L. 107-279), codified at 20 USC §§ 9501 et seq.
  • 2004 - Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (P.L. 108-446) (including Free Appropriate Education Act), codified at 20 USC §§ 1400 et seq.
  • 2012 - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Amendments, codified at 20 USC § 1232g.

When using statutes (laws), check to see how current your source is. Congress amends existing laws frequently.

Most of the education-related statutes are codified in Title 20 (Education) of the United States Code; some are codified in Title 42 (Public Health and Welfare). The Department of Education also has a Policy page that includes legislation, regulations, guidance, and other policy documents for topics from adult education to vocational education.

You can also search Lexis Advance and Westlaw for all state or federal laws, cases, etc. related to education.

Lexis Advance

Browse Topics > Education Law > General Overview (unless there is a narrower topic of interest to you) > Get Documents.

Click on the relevant heading on the top bar (cases, legislation, secondary sources, etc.); then limit by using the filters on the left side of the page (jurisdiction, source, etc.)

Nexis Uni

Search by Content Type > Legal > State Statutes and Regulations OR Federal Statutes and Regulations

See the Gallagher guides on State Laws & Legislatures or U.S. Laws for more information.


Westlaw does not have an overview of education materials similar to LexisNexis. The best bet for finding education-related materials on Westlaw is to drill down through the federal and/or state statutes and use the Key Number (141e) to find cases.


Rules & Regulations

Laws passed by the U.S. Congress often direct executive branch agencies to write regulations to help implement laws.  Most education-related regulations are codified in Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). In Subtitle B of Title 34, the regulations are divided according to the various offices within the U.S. Department of Education:

For assistance in researching regulations and administrative law, including updating, see the Gallagher guide on U.S. Administrative Law Research.

See also the descriptions of Lexis Advance, Nexis Uni, and Westlaw above.


For free Internet sources offering federal court cases, see the Gallagher guide on U.S. Court Opinions.