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School Business Affairs


Before the Supreme Court’s monumental decision banning racial segregation in schooling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the federal government had little direct involvement in national education policy. Subsequently, the federal government has assumed a major role in setting national education policy.

The federal government’s first post- Brown major legislative enactment, in 1958, was the adoption of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA). Enacted largely in response to the Soviet Union’s launching of Sputnik 1, the NDEA, made federal funds available to education institutions to focus on areas considered critical to national defense, such as mathematics, science, and foreign languages. Even though the NDEA was ultimately consolidated as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965—now the No Child left Behind Act— its effect can still be felt.

In light of the far-reaching consequences of federal laws, this column summarizes major statutes affecting education, so that school business officials and other education leaders can have a quick guide to those statutes. This review broadly divides cases involving students and employees. Some of the statutes, such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, affect students as well as employees and visitors. Where appropriate, the column briefly summarizes major Supreme Court cases that interpreted those statutes.

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This document has been made available for download by permission of the publisher.

This article originally appeared in the April 2015 School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates. Any additional re-purposing or reprint of this article in this or any other medium is restricted without prior written consent.

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Association of School Business Officials





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Reston, VA



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