The Florida Bar

Education Law

December 12, 2022

Compulsory Education

Education law is governed by the states. Every state requires all its children to be educated. For most students, this means that parents must send their students to an accredited public, private, religious school or have them home-schooled.

Student Rights

According to federal law, every student is entitled to a “free appropriate public education.” This means that schools are required to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students, parents, teachers, and doctors must collaborate and determine the best way to educate each child with special needs so that they can be adequately prepared for life after school.

Schools enact codes of conduct designed to keep students safe and focused on school work that often include bans on drugs and weapons on school property. Certain types of adult speech, such as obscenity, hate speech, and sexualized speech are considered disruptive to the functioning of the school, and are severely limited. However, a school can only protect students in ways that do not infringe on their constitutional rights, as students have limited rights to speech and privacy. Furthermore, schools cannot automatically expel students for bad behavior; instead, they must provide the student with notice and a hearing before revoking education privileges.


The law has measures designed to protect teachers’ rights as employees, as well as teachers’ academic freedoms. One major vehicle for protecting teacher rights are teachers’ unions, which sets standards on how long a teacher can work and what duties they may undertake.

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or substitute for the advice of a lawyer.