The Institutional Shaping of Educational Rights
This chapter offers an institutional view of the elaboration of educational rights. The state’s interest in the education of the young is complemented by the delegation of authority to school boards to protect the environment wherein this expectation is fulfilled. A consequence of formalizing common schooling as compulsory attendance was to more clearly define the legal capacity of groups to benefit from education. A chronologically young state school system may age quickly by economic and political circumstances that link it to national educational issues. The stability of an educational environment is more consistent with the goal of a free appropriate public education than is a challenge that may threaten this by enlarging the placement options for handicapped students. The expansion of the legal and statutory responsibility charged to general education threatens the institutional boundaries that confine delinquent and special children in places separate from common schools.