Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version



Published in: School Violence Intervention SECOND EDITION, Edited by Jane Close Conoley & Arnold P. Goldstein. New York & London, 2004.


© 2004 The Guilford Press


The authority for public education in the United States does not stem from the Constitution, but rather is a "reserved" power remaining with the states. It originates from the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states those powers neither expressly given to the national govennnent nor denied to the state governments. However, most states have not exercised their authority for public education directly until recent decades. Education is a state function that is largely locally administered (Aikin, Linden, Noel, & Ray, 1992). Each state exercises its education function completely or in part through a state department of education that has varying degrees of responsibility. The state educational authority gains its powers and responsibilities specifically from the state's constitution and statutes (Deighton, 1971). I State departments of education emerged and became firmly established.

One area of state education departments' leadership is creating safe schools. Providing a safe school environment. is imperative. For many children, schools are the safest places in their lives. The concept that schools should be safe havens has found support in law throughout the history of public ~chools. For teachers to teach and children to learn, there must be a safe and inviting educational environment (Curcio & First, [993; Kauhnan, 2000). In this context, we replicated our 1995 national survey (Grady, Krumm, & Losh, 1997) to determine what each state was doing to create safe havens for children.