ADM G627: Law of Public Education - Prof E. Bostrom


This wiki includes description and links to sources for legal research in issues related to education. Although it is not comprehensive, it is a good example of the broad range of (but frequently unknown) resources available on a subject researched at the graduate level.


I. The "Free" Web

a) Massachusetts General Laws

  • Go to (The Official Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts )
  • In left-hand column, under Government Links, select Local Government
  • In right-hand side bar under Online Services, select Search The Massachusetts General Laws
  • Enter a specific chapter or section or type a phrase, as shown below:


b) Federal Law & U.S. DOE

From homepage you can also link to the federal government's official web site From there,
a) select Reference and General Government; Laws and Regulations.
b) In bottom right-hand column, select A-Z Agency Index; the letter 'E' at the top of the screen; Education Department (ED)

c) MA Assoc of School Committees

A rich resource providing links to all sorts of relevant material relating to Massachusetts public education law and legislation. A sampling is provided below.
Legislative Priorities provides a list of what is currently on the MASC radar screen.

Online Policy Manuals provides the complete MASC Policy Reference Manual which conforms to state and federal law; sample school district policies on particular topics. For example, link to Bedford Public Schools to see policy statements re: academic freedom, homeless students, harassment by a student; non-custodial parent rights, an emergency crisis manual, etc.

Policy News provides periodic policy updates to school committees throughout the year, including sample policies dealing with new or updated education policy issues. Click the Policy Quick Link drop down menu for links to policy re: bullying, student-to-student harassment, emergency plans, security, family involvement, school/parent relations, etc.


The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, produces the world’s premier database of journal and non-journal education literature. ERIC online, provides the public with a centralized ERIC Web site for searching the ERIC bibliographic database of more than 1.1 million citations going back to 1966. In addition, more than 120,000 full-text non-journal documents (issued 1993-2007), previously available through fee-based services only, are available for free. The ERIC database is also available through Healey Library's database collection.

II. The "Deep" Web

"The deep Web (or invisible Web) refers to World Wide Web content that is not part of the surface (or free) Web indexed by search engines. The term "Invisible Web" was first used in 1994 when referring to a website that was not registered with any search engine." (adapted from

Libraries throughout the world subscribe to proprietary/restricted databases (think deep web.) These databases typically provide access to highly selective content (contrast that to big (free) search engines like Dogpile,, Yahoo, etc.)

a) Healey Library's Education / Law Databases

N.B. To access the library's databases from off-campus, you will be prompted for your library barcode located on the back of your UMB ID card.

EBSCO Education Databases

These databases can be searched separately or together with other EBSCO databases. For help with searching any of the EBSCO databases, view Basic Searching in Academic Libraries tutorial

  • ERIC (Educational Resource Information Center) offers a bibliographic database of more than 1.1 million citations going back to 1966 and more than 120,000 full-text non-journal documents (issued 1993-2007.)

Educator's Reference Complete

  • Academic journals, reports, and reference sources for teachers and school administrators
  • Covers education from pre-school to higher education
  • Some full-text with majority from the ERIC database

ProQuest Education Journals

  • Covers primary, secondary and higher education from 1991 to the present
  • Over 700 journals are indexed including children’s magazines, scholarly journals and trade publications
  • Most articles are full text
  • Introduction to using Proquest Education Journals

Lexis/Nexis Academic

Lexis Nexis Academic is unparalleled in its coverage of 1) current Medical and Health news and scholarly/research literature; 2) Business & Industry news, financial stats, SEC filings, etc; 3) Current news from around the world; and 4) Legal Research, such as:


WestLaw Campus Research


Go here for a complete list of Healey Library's proprietary databases.


N.B. To access the library's e-books from off-campus, you will be prompted for your library barcode located on the back of your UMB ID card.

These books can be accessed by searching the Healey Library catalog, by the book TITLE:

N.B. Also in Healey's print collection (9th floor | call no: KF 4124.5 F57 2003)

National survey of state law

Leiter, R. ed. (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2005)
Partial CONTENTS: III. Education laws: 14. Compulsory education -- 15. Corporal punishment in public schools -- 16. Prayer in public schools -- 17. Privacy of school records

School violence: A reference handbook

Kopka, D. (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1997)
CONTENTS: What is violence? -- Federal legislation -- Chronology -- Biographical sketches -- Education, technological, and regulatory approaches -- Federal legislation -- Organizations, conferences, and training -- Print resources -- Nonprint resources -- Glossary

IV. Citing Sources


Ohio State University Libraries

APA Citation Guide
MLA Citation Guide
Turabian (Chicago) Citation Guide


Visit us at the 4th floor Reference Desk!

Email a reference librarian...
Janet DiPaolo
David Fristrom
George Hart
Tina Mullins
Frances Schlesinger
Louisa Tseng

24/7 Library Chat
Email library.reference
Phone 617.287.5940