Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

Conferences, Research, and Outreach

The Institute collaborates with the Loyola University Chicago School of Education and other institutions to present conferences, trainings and other special events on education law and policy issues.  The Institute also works together with other University publications and platforms to disseminate research regarding the most pressing contemporary issues confronting education law and policy.

Education Law: A Year in Review

Loyola hosted its 4th Annual Education Law:  A Year in Review on June 27, 2017.  The event began with a lunchtime discussion of current education issues in Chicago and the interconnections with youth violence and entry into the juvenile justice system.  Following the panel was a seminar addressing important developments in the area of education law during the past year.  The seminar topics included: special education and the Supreme Court's 2017 decision in Endrew F. vs. Douglas County School District; changes in immigration policy and their implications for students, families and schools; educational labor relations issues in a shifting national labor environment; and an update on the 2017 Illinois legislative session and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

School Discipline

On August 6, 2014, the Institute co-sponsored a seminar for school administrators entitled “School Discipline Workshop:  Best Practices in Addressing Student Behaviors While Keeping Schools Safe.”  This seminar addressed the research, application and implementation of best practices in school discipline.  The state and federal legal requirements relating to school discipline were covered, as well as the research demonstrating the need for reforming school disciplinary policies.  Participants had the opportunity to hear from school administrators from across the state who have been successful in implementing disciplinary reforms.  The seminar was co-sponsored by Loyola’s Education Law and Policy Institute and School of Education, together with the Illinois State Board of Education.  More information on the workshop is available here

The Institute also collaborated with Loyola’s Children’s Legal Rights Journal, which presented a symposium entitled “Discipline in Schools: Moving Beyond Zero Tolerance” on October 17, 2014.  The event focused on the changing landscape of school discipline, including achievements and challenges in implementing new school practices, as well as discussions concerning the school-to-prison pipeline both locally and nationally.  The materials from the seminar are available here.

Since March 2016, Loyola University Chicago School of Law has collaborated with Loyola’s School of Education and other members of the Transforming School Discipline Collaborative to offer an Administrators’ Academy on “Implementing School Discipline Reform: Strategies for Systemic Change.”  This one-day course for administrators was approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and has been offered at regional and local offices of education in Illinois and on-site at school districts and special education cooperatives.  More information about this course and the collaborative is available here.

Early Childhood Education

On March 15, 2013, the Institute co-sponsored a symposium with Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Resource Center: Early Childhood Professional Development entitled Early Childhood Education for the Future: The Creative Use of Public-Private Partnerships to Provide Cost-Effective High-Quality School Readiness Programs.

In 2006, the Institute held the first national interdisciplinary conference on The Law and Policy of Universal Preschool, an event organized in conjunction with the Loyola University Chicago School of Education and Erikson Graduate School of Child Development.

Special Education and Charter Schools

The Institute has been involved in a number of ways in activities designed to enhance the ability of charter schools to meet the needs of students with disabilities.  In 2011, the Institute organized a pathbreaking symposium on Special Education and Charter Schools.  The Institute has also collaborated with the Illinois Network of Charter Schools to organize a series of trainings on special education for charter schools.  Training materials and presentations are posted here.

Education in the Context of Poverty and Homelessness

The Institute has also focused its outreach on issues relating to education for low-income and homeless children.  In particular, the Institute co-sponsored the 2009 Public Interest Law Reporter Symposium entitled Separate and Unequal? The Socioeconomic Realities of Public Education in America.

Scholarship and Research

The Institute publishes its research in the ChildLaw and Education Institute Forum and in the Journal of Early Education Law and Policy. Moreover, the Institute partners with the Children's Legal Rights Journal and the Public Interest Law Reporter to publish its conference papers.

The Institute's faculty also publishes highly regarded and influential scholarship in the field of education law through leading books and articles.

Other Programs

Loyola University Chicago School of Law operates a Street Law program that brings law students to urban high schools to teach legal concepts.

The Institute also collaborates with law school journals and student groups that are hosting events related to education law.  For example, the Public Interest Law Reporter hosted its 2014 seminar on the timely and relevant topic of “Senate Bill 16 and Education Funding in Illinois.”

In addition, the Institute works with Loyola University Chicago's Center for Comparative Education to conduct international research regarding global education issues. The Institute also sponsors field projects and experiential learning on education issues throughout the world, including in Tanzania, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Chile and India.