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Perry Zirkel

Lehigh University
Professor Emeritus of Education Law
Perry A. Zirkel is university professor emeritus of education and law at Lehigh University, where he formerly was dean of the College of Education, subsequently held the Iacocca Chair in Education for its five-year term. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut, and a Master of Laws degree from Yale University. He has done presentations in every state in the U.S. He has also written more than 1,600 publications on various aspects of school law, with an emphasis on legal issues in special education. He writes a regular column for Exceptionality journal and NASP’s Communiqué newsletter, and he did so previously for Phi Delta Kappan, Teaching Exceptional Children, and NAESP’s Principal magazine. Past president of the Education Law Association and co-chair of the Pennsylvania special education appeals panel from 1990 to 2007, he is the author of the CEC monograph The Legal Meaning of Specific Learning Disability; the more recently published books, A Digest of Supreme Court Decisions Affecting Education and Student Teaching and the Law; and the two-volume reference Section 504, the ADA and the Schools. In 2012, he received the Research into Practice Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Excellence in Research Award from AERA’s Division A (Administration, Organization & Leadership). In 2013, he received the University Council for Educational Administration’s Edwin Bridges award for significant contributions to the preparation and development of school leaders. In 2016, he received the Education Law Association’s Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law. In 2017 he received the Council for Exceptional Children’s Special Education Research Award. In 2021, he received the President’s Award for Excellence from the National Association of School Psychologists. He continues to direct the one-week Lehigh Special Education Law Symposium each June. Finally, he provides a monthly special education legal update and share his publications via his website, perryzirkel.com.