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EDPA 4086 EDPA 4086: Law and Education: Regulation, Religion, Free Speech, and Safety
This multidisciplinary survey course explores significant recent developments in K-12 public and private education law, policy, and practice. It covers many issues that are now the focus of polarized national debates. The class will include students from Teachers College, Columbia Law School, and other Columbia University graduate schools. public- and private-school practitioners, current and aspiring, are welcome, as are policy analysts, researchers, and policy makers.
Topics include limits on public regulation and funding of private schools; charter schools and voucher programs; religious conflicts in public schools over public funding, prayer, and curriculum; and free-speech rights of students and teachers. The course will also focus on school safety: bullying and cyberbullying; child abuse; the schools’ authority to make and enforce rules governing on- and off-campus student and staff misconduct, including drug/alcohol abuse, hazing, and sexual misconduct; tort liability; and educational malpractice; search & seizure/drug testing; racially disproportionate school discipline; the school-to-prison pipeline; and due process rights of students and staff.
The course will be multidisciplinary, drawing on sources in law, social science, policy, and education practice. We will consider how to avoid unnecessary litigation and, equally important, how to use the law to advance important educational values and objectives.