Special Education Law: A Research Guide

Over 7 million students in the US have an IEP, it is important to learn statistics.  The National Center for Education Statistics is a great resource. 

So many acronyms, so little time.

IEPs, FBAs, PBSPs, oh my! All the acronyms. There are so many acronyms used in Special Education and by default, Special Education Law. These can be incredibly confusing and hard to keep track of. Even professionals sometimes have a hard time remembering their PSP from their PBSP or the difference between LRE and FAPE. This website is here to help! Looking for a Special Education acronym guide to make researching just a bit easier? Look no further. The Center for Parent Information and Resources has a full acronym guide to assist educators, parents, families, and advocates to keep their acronyms straight and help decipher what they are reading. For the acronym guide click here!  Happy researching!

What is Special Education Law?

Special Education Law is where education meets law, or vice versa. Much how typical education is regulated by both The United States Dept. of Education and individual State Dept. of Education, Special Education is such a tricky, detailed topic. There are laws, guidance, best practices, and more, all involved in making decisions and educating our most vulnerable students. Congress decided in 1975 that is was time to act to ensure that ALL students were educated and they passed the Education for Handicapped Children Act. This original act has been readopted and amended several times and has since become the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"). IDEA is the statute that governs many aspects of special education including required timelines, team members, contents of the IEP, and more.

This student-authored guide was created as part of an assignment for Professor Lori Corso’s Advanced Legal Research course and is for educational purposes only. The content is the sole responsibility of the student author and does not represent the views of Villanova University. This guide is meant to simply highlight resources that may be used to conduct research in this area of law and information presented in this guide should be independently reviewed and verified by the reader; no representations are made as to the content’s currency, accuracy, or applicability to a particular legal situation. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Readers of this website should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.