Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Education Law Research Guide

This guide includes resources on education law, including charter schools and voucher systems, higher education, special education, accountability, and discrimination.

Regulations

FEDERAL REGULATIONS

The Department of Education promulgates most of the regulations implementing education policies and they are codified in Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Regulations created by the different Department of Education offices are arranged under Subtitle B of Title 34 as follows:

  • Chapter I - Office for Civil Rights
  • Chapter II - Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Chapter III - Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
  • Chapter IV - Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
  • Chapter V - Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs
  • Chapter VI - Office of Postsecondary Education
  • Chapter VII - Office of Educational Research and Improvement

Where to find these regulations:

Code of Federal Regulations
Subject compilation of regulations promulgated by federal agencies, updated annually. The Code of Federal Regulations can be found in the following places:

  • Print CFR - Williams Reading Room - KF70 .A3
  • GPO GovInfo: CFR (PDF image of print; 1996 - present)
  • GPO GovInfo: e-CFR (text, not PDF; up-to-date to within 2 days)

 

Federal Register
Daily publications of the activities of federal agencies, proposed and final regulations must be published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register can be accessed at:

  • Current issues - On reserve at the Circulation Desk (older issues are on microfiche/microfilm in Media Services)

For more information about researching federal regulations and administrative law decisions, see the Library's Administrative Law Research Tutorial.

Education Guidance Documents

Both federal and state agencies will issue guidance documents to help apply and interpret education statutes and regulations. These documents in themselves can also become subject to court challenge.

For example, in 2016 the Department of Education issued a guidance document directing schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity. Many school districts and states challenged this guidance, both through legislation and litigation, notably in the case G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, 822 F.3d 709 (4th Cir. 2016), which was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but remanded and vacated after the Trump administration revoked the guidance document.

In the federal government, many of these guidance documents are available through the Department of Education website. To find guidance documents for a specific state, consult that state's administrative agency for education. In most states this will be called the "Department of Education," though the names vary.