This unique book provides an introduction to American public education law for college and graduate students, educators, and parents. Rather than merely rehashing the canon of Supreme Court case law on public education, the book draws on typical fact patterns that everyone in the field will recognize: curriculum decisions; student dress and discipline; inequitable treatment based on race, sex, or handicapping condition; child abuse; teacher firings; school board conduct; and more. Analysis of these facts through various local, state, and federal legal sources—constitutional, statutory, regulatory, and judicial—yields a comprehensive, practical introduction to American public education law that is both understandable and sophisticated. This is how lawyers really work and how the wise educator or parent can best become legally informed and active.
The first chapter presents the innovative “Cascade of American Public Education Law.” This helpful metaphor elegantly frames our myriad sources of law within a single concept. American law cascades from the Constitution, downward to state and federal legislative enactments, to regulations, to the regulatory guidance that drives so many real-world decisions. Each level requires consistency with provisions “upriver,” giving coherence to a legal system that often seems fractured and chaotic. The courts, with their own cascade of powers, apply their own precedents and interpret laws created by the other branches of government. The interplay of these forces (“the Cascade Game”) has profound implications for practitioners who want to control their legal destinies. Finally, the chapter provides ← ix | x → a helpful...
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