Landmark Congressional Laws on Education

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - Law - 227 pages

Why has the federal government played an ever-expanding role in our educational system? What controversial political and social issues led to the enactment of landmark education laws by the U.S. Congress? Have you considered the impact of some of the most important federal education laws--the G.I. Bill of Rights, college loan programs, funding of black colleges, school lunch programs, creation of Head Start, special education programs, bilingual education, and equal funding for girls' athletics? This unique reference work provides an explanation and discussion of each landmark law followed by the actual text of key passages of the law, which have been carefully edited for students. Nineteen landmark laws are covered, from the Land Ordinance of 1785, which set aside land in the western territories for the creation of schools, to Goals 2000: Educate America Act, Bill Clinton's ambitious agenda for student education by the year 2000.

The entry on each landmark law consists of the following sections: a discussion of the intent and purpose of the legislation; a summary of the substance of the law, including an explanation of difficult-to-understand terms and concepts; an examination of the politics and legislative history of the act; a summary of the impact of the law; the actual text of key passages of the law. The laws are organized chronologically. An introductory overview of the federal government's role in education, followed by a detailed timeline of milestones in the history of U.S. education, places the topic in historical context.


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The Land Ordinance of 1785 May 20 1785
The Northwest Ordinance July 13 1787
The First Morrill Act July 2 1862
The Freedmens Bureau March 3 1865
The Second Morrill Act August 30 1890
The SmithHughes Act February 23 1917
The Servicemens Readjustment Act June 22 1944
The National School Lunch Act June 4 1946
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act April 11 1965
The Higher Education Act November 8 1965
The Bilingual Education Act January 2 1968
Title IX June 23 1972
Education for All Handicapped Children Act November 29 1975
Department of Education Organization Act October 17 1979
Goals 2000 Educate America Act March 31 1994

The Impact Laws September 23 1950 and September 30 1950
The National Defense Education Act September 2 1958
The Economic Opportunity Act August 20 1964

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Page 17 - Be it ordained, by the United States, in Congress assembled, that the said Territory, for the purposes of temporary government, be one district ; subject, however, to be divided into two districts, as future circumstances may, in the opinion of Congress, make it expedient.
Page 23 - And whenever any of the said states shall have sixty thousand free inhabitants therein, such state shall be admitted, by its delegates, into the Congress of the United States, on an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatever, and shall be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and state government...

About the author (2002)

DAVID CARLETON is Associate Professor of Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University. He has published extensively on gubernatorial politics and on human rights issues. He worked previously in government and in political campaign positions. He is currently preparing a textbook on state and local government.

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