Although primarily a legal work, Law and Public Education incorporates historical, pedagogical, economic, and other social science literature to provide a holistic framework from which to understand the development of public education in the United States through law and policy. The textbook includes in-depth coverage of cases and other materials to provide students with the opportunity to master the complexities, ambiguities, and nuances of meaning involved in education law. This book addresses three primary themes:
- The decision-making process and the proper allocation of decision-making power among those who compete for it;
- The conflicts involved in a liberal, democratic society seeking to inculcate values in its youth and;
- The tensions that pervade a nation and an educational system torn between values of national unity, secularism, and universalism and the desire to both preserve pluralism and enhance sectarian and parochial subcultures.
The sixth edition of Law and Public Education includes more recent cases, references to new and amended education acts, and discussions on how increased polarization across the last three presidential administrations have impacted public education. This edition poses thought-provoking questions to encourage students to analyze the role of public education, and the law and policy supporting it, as belief systems in the United States continue to evolve. This revised edition also considers the changing landscape of public education resulting from social media, COVID-19, and movements for and against the representation and participation of different groups of individuals.