Higher Education

American Public School Law, 8th Edition

  • Kern Alexander University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M. David Alexander Virginia Tech University
  • ISBN-10: 049591049X  |  ISBN-13: 9780495910497
  • 1184 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2005, 2001
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $238.50
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Alexander and Alexander’s best-selling AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL LAW sets the standard for texts in educational law, an increasingly vital area of expertise for today’s school and district administrators. Now in its Eighth Edition, this combined textbook/casebook provides an authoritative and comprehensive view of the law that governs the public school system of the United States, including common law, statutes, and constitutional laws as they affect students, teachers, and administrators. Featuring civil and criminal cases selected from hundreds of jurisdictions and newly updated to reflect the latest legal trends and precedents, the text provides a thorough review of key laws and relevant court decisions. The case method offers ample opportunity for class discussion aimed at discovering and exposing underlying rules and reasoning. The text actively encourages readers to relate factual situations to the law while anticipating similar experiences they may have as practicing teachers and administrators. Written in an engaging and accessible style, AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL LAW, Eighth Edition, explains even complex points of law clearly and effectively for non-lawyers, and the authors maintain a diligent focus on the unique needs of professional educators preparing for successful careers in administration.

Features and Benefits

  • AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL LAW, Eighth Edition, offers exceptionally comprehensive coverage of legal problems and issues pertinent to practicing educators, including common law, statutes, and constitutional law.
  • Featuring an abundance of cases and extensive content to reflect the latest trends, precedents, and points of law in this rapidly changing field, the text provides readers with a current and comprehensive review of the essential legal considerations relevant to their profession.
  • The authors carefully selected cases from hundreds of U.S. jurisdictions, including those that best exemplify the prevailing view of the courts in the various areas of law relevant to public education.
  • The authors provide interpretive, concise, and simplified explanations of esoteric but important legal concepts that affect the daily conduct of schools, rendering even abstract legal precedents simple for non-lawyers to grasp.
  • The organization of the text reflects a logical and sequential presentation, ranging from foundational material on the nation’s legal system, historical foundations of public schools, and school governance to topics such as laws related to school attendance, curriculum and instruction, student rights, teacher rights, and collective bargaining.

Table of Contents

1. The Legal System.
2. Historical and Legal Perspective of Public Schools.
3. Role of the Federal Government.
4. Governance of Public Schools.
5. Church and State.
6. School Attendance.
7. The Instructional Program.
8. Student Rights: Speech, Expression, and Privacy.
9. Student Rights: Common Law, Constitutional Due Process, and Statutory Protections.
10. Rights of Students with Disabilities.
11. Tort Liability.
12. Defamation and Student Records.
13. School District Liability.
14. Certification, Contracts, and Tenure.
15. Teacher Rights and Freedoms.
16. Due Process Rights of Teachers.
17. Discrimination in Employment.
18. Collective Bargaining.
19. Desegregation of Public Schools.
20. School Finance.
21. School Property and Buildings.

What's New

  • New! A new Instructor’s Manual provides a quick reference for professors.
  • New! Regarded for its user-friendly descriptions of law for non-lawyers, the Eighth Edition includes new charts that define the law, new boxed notations to highlight relevant points of law, and additional recent case notes--making the book even easier to read and understand.
  • New! Chapter 1, “The Legal System,” includes a new section on “How to Find the Law” (how to do legal research).
  • New! A new Research Aids section for the non-lawyer, organized by topic, appears at the end of each chapter. These sections specify key sources of the law that can be accessed via the Internet or in a law library.
  • New! Each chapter now begins with an introduction section that sets the stage for the material that follows, and concludes with a new Summation of Case Law section that summarizes the key points of the various legal precedents discussed. Both of these new features help students to identify, understand, and retain the most important points and cases of each chapter.
  • New! Every chapter is updated with coverage of recent precedents and modifications in the law. Topics include student speech and expression, school curriculum and orthodoxy, immigration and school attendance, the Internet and student discipline, student searches: drugs and weapons, true threats of violence, bullying as a legal issue, charter school law, emerging restrictions of teacher rights, pursuit of duty law as it relates to school administrators, and precedents regarding Federal civil rights laws.
  • New! Cartoons have been added where appropriate to provide political/policy insight as well as humor to lighten the presentation.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Kern Alexander

Kern Alexander is a widely published author in the fields of education law and finance. He served as Professor of Educational Administration at the University of Florida for nearly two decades and later as University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. He has been President of Western Kentucky University and Murray State University (Kentucky) and is currently Professor of Excellence in the Department of Educational Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. He continues to take an active role throughout the United States in litigation involving equity in school finance.

M. David Alexander

M. David Alexander is Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Virginia Tech. Dr. Alexander has authored or co-authored several books and many chapters and articles in the area of education law. He has taught public school law and college and university law for nearly 30 years and is widely consulted on issues pertaining to education law and arbitration.