Kristine Bowman, a Michigan State University expert in education law and policy, is the editor of a comprehensive new handbook for K-12 educators, policymakers and scholars. The first-edition of the “Oxford Handbook on U.S. Education Law” includes foundational overviews, deep-rooted insights on various topics and a look toward the future.
“We wanted this volume to add to the vast literature: incorporating existing work, but extending it, too,” said Bowman, who was named the College of Education’s associate dean for academic and student affairs in 2019. She is also jointly-appointed as a professor of law in the MSU College of Law and professor of education policy in the College of Education. “It is a symphony of scholarship from experts in our field and can serve many purposes for many audiences.”
The education law field—which emerged in the 1970s as a distinct form of practice and scholarship—has expanded in recent decades and has an impact throughout many other areas. In fact, according to the book’s introduction by Bowman, “most law schools and many colleges of education offer a course about education law; school administrator certificates in many states require completion of the same; and a handful of law firms in each state tout an education law practice.”
The 37-chapter volume covers a wide range of topics, including “virtual schooling to civil rights” and “school choice to special education,” according to the book’s description. It can be useful for individuals who would like introductory information to learn about the field, as well as chapters delving into those topics.
MSU scholars are included among those contributing chapters, such as:
- Political science Associate Professor Sarah Reckhow, co-author of “The Shifting Landscape of Education Governance”
- Associate Professor Madeline Mavrogordato and Rachel White, Ph.D. ’17 (Education Policy), who authored “Educating English Learners.”
- Professor Joshua Cowen and Clifford E. Erickson Distinguished Chair in Education Katharine Strunk, who authored “Teacher Labor Market Reforms: A Look Ahead to the Next Decade”
Bowman also contributed to two chapters, on free speech and racial and ethnic equity in public schools.
“The group of contributing authors is outstanding,” explained Bowman, whose expertise includes publishing articles on education law and policy issues for 20 years. “Many contributors scholars are well-known senior scholars. Others are mid-level or junior. They come from law, education, political science and economics. I’m glad that our group of authors is diverse in many ways. It’s a strength of the book and reflects the diversity and vibrancy of the field.”
The “Oxford Handbook on U.S. Education Law” is available for purchase now.
Keep reading work from MSU scholars
- Bowman research: Michigan tops states for authorizing fiscal power over school districts (2019)
- Mavrogordato research: How can we better support English language learners during COVID-19? (2021)
- Strunk serves as faculty director of and Cowen is an affiliated faculty member in MSU’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC). In September 2021, EPIC found more than 3,600 Michigan students have been identified as needing to repeat third grade due to low reading scores.