Book Review

Key Legal Issues for Schools: The Ultimate Resource for School Business Officials

Edited by Charles Russo, Rowman & Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2006, 226 pp., $49.95 hardcover, $27.95 softcover

Key Legal Issues for Schools, edited by Charles Russo, is full of legal information pertinent to all current administrators. Russo is the Panzer chair in education and adjunct professor of law at the University of Dayton.

This book would be highly useful as a textbook for administrative law classes because it is written in language that is easily understood and it provides examples or recommendations for complex subjects. While no chapter goes into great detail on any topic, a broad overview addresses the most frequent legal issues faced by superintendents, their deputies and building principals.

Written by individuals with extensive knowledge and experience in educational administration or school law, each chapter serves as an excellent resource on these topics: policy formation, accounting and budgeting, school board contracting and privatization, supervision and evaluation of staff, employee rights, student rights, special education and religion in public schools.

Superintendents will find particular value in chapters 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, which contain information that can be used to inform school board members of their appropriate functions and responsibilities to the public as well as how to steer clear of litigation.

Campus administrators will find several other chapters beneficial in regard to responsibilities to students and their parents. Other sections provide guidelines for treating employees fairly and legally.

Reviewed by Lylia King, principal, Cleburne Intermediate School, Cleburne, Texas