What is Public Education Law?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Public education law refers to the codes, bills, and statutes that relate to government-sponsored education. Almost every aspect of government-created education is guided by public education law, including curriculum, teacher and student policies, and statutes regarding discrimination. Public education law varies from region to region, based on the power structure of educational decisions and the national perception of the purpose of education.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Many countries offer government or public schools as a means of providing education at little or no cost to the citizens. This is because it education is generally seen as a means of creating a skilled, knowledgeable citizenry that is capable of contributing to the well-being of the state. Many countries also provide free education as a result of compulsory schooling laws, which require that children attend school until a certain age. Since not all people under compulsory law can pay for children to attend private institutions, public schooling systems create a mechanism to provide required education for free.

In many countries, public education law is largely managed by regional or state governments. This is often in recognition of the idea that policies and public educational law may need to be specific to an area; governing entities may be able to more carefully target needs of a smaller and more focused population. Nevertheless, many countries do have some national laws on public education. These often include laws requiring each region to create a public school system. National education laws may also require regional schools to stay in line with constitutional law, such as by prohibiting education. Many also divert funding to public schools for specific programs, such as early childhood education.

Regional public education law is usually much more specific. It may include the degree requirements for teachers and administrators and the acceptable hiring, firing, and tenure practices. In some cases, it may set conduct laws for teachers, or prohibit people with criminal records from obtaining public teaching positions.

Public education law can also decree which subjects and requirements are needed for a student to graduate from compulsory education. This provides a basic course framework which allows for some variation between schools and local areas. In order to test the performance of the school system, public education law can also require regularly scheduled standardized testing of students, in order to identify problem areas and determine funding. In some cases, law may also put restrictions on certain subjects, or manage issues like class size.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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