Legal Issues in Special Education

School psychologists are looked to for interpretation and guidance about a variety of educational legal issues.  In many ways, school psychologists take an administrative position in this area; our technical knowledge and practical application of these statues are often unmatched by other employees within the school system.  School psychologists know the laws of their state and federal Departments of Education.

The following pages were designed to provide some quick review of the major laws affecting education in the United States.  These are federal laws, and must be followed by all states. 

In an interview posted on the NASP webpage, Tom Fagan, NASP Historian states that "...in some ways, since the days of [Public Law] 94-102, and FERPA, and all that, school psychologists almost look like part-time lawyers..."

DISCLAIMER: I'm no legal expert, nor am I attempting to provide legal advice.  I'm a early career professional school psychologist.  Take the following pages with a grain of salt. 



I'll start with the two most often cited laws in education today - the No Child Left Behind Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.