What is school law
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What is School Law? . Pennsylvania School Law . Public Education Law is determined by the state unless federal action is taken on a specific issue (ex. No Child Left Behind)

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What is School Law?

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What is school law

What is School Law?

Pennsylvania School Law


What is school law

  • Public Education Law is determined by the state unless federal action is taken on a specific issue (ex. No Child Left Behind)

  • PA General Assembly is technically in charge of all public education in the state but they give almost all power to locally elected school boards who are in charge of school districts.

  • All public school boards must follow the Pennsylvania School Code – “a compilation of the statutes enacted by the Legislature having direct and pertinent reference to public education, its programs, its operations and its management.”


School districts

School Districts


Pennsylvania state board of education

Pennsylvania State Board of Education

  • Created as a state agency in 1965

  • “Promulgate and adopt rules, regulations and standards of governing educational programs of the commonwealth.”

  • Creates and enforces rules on behalf of the federal and state government for school districts, school boards, teachers and students.


Things the pa board of education regulates

Things the Pa. Board of Education Regulates

  • School building construction

  • School district reorganization

  • Curriculum

  • Pupil Transportation

  • Pupil Attendance

  • Quality Assessment

  • Certification

  • Special Education


Ayala vs philadelphia board of public education 1973

Ayala vs. Philadelphia Board of Public Education (1973)

  • The Appellants (plaintiff) brought suit to recover damages for injuries sustained by William Jr. when his arm was caught in a shredding machine in the upholstery class of the Carrol School in Philadelphia. As a result of the injuries, William Jr.’s arm was amputated. The Appellee (defendant) asserted the defense of governmental immunity. The Superior Court affirmed the defense, finding for Appellee.


What is school law

  • In 1981 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court limited the amount of things that a school district can be successfully sued for (is liable for) due to negligence to 8:

    • Vehicle Liability

    • Care, Custody or control of personal property

    • Real Property

    • Trees, traffic controls and street lighting

    • Utility service facilities

    • Streets

    • Sidewalks

    • Care, Custody or control of animals


School code 510

School Code 510

  • “… charges the school board to establish reasonable rules governing the conduct and disciplined of all pupils while under the supervision of the school.”

    • Corporal punishment must never be used … as the first line of punishment (Baker v. Owen, 1975)

    • If corporal punishment is used it must be done in the presence of another school official and the student must be made aware of what they did wrong

    • School Boards are allowed to regulate students rights and responsibilities but must allow for “due process”


Current school law issues

Current School Law Issues

  • Free Speech

  • Search and Seizure

  • Special Education/Inclusionary Practices

  • GLBT Students

  • Cyber Bullying

  • State mandated Testing – No Child Left Behind

  • Federal and State funding

  • School Voucher Plan

  • Charter Schools

  • Title 9


What is the purpose of school law

What is the purpose of School Law?

The purpose of School Law is to ensure that every child is given an education in accordance with the state and federal government.


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