Perry A. Zirkel is university professor of education and law at Lehigh University, where he formerly was dean of the College of Education and more recently 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.. Dr. Zirkel served as co-chair of the special education review officers panel for Pennsylvania from 1990 to 2007 and has been a review officer for Nevada since 2017. He has written more than 1,550 publications on various aspects of school law, with an emphasis on legal issues in special education. He writes regular columns for Principal magazine and NASP’s Communiqué, and did so previously for Phi Delta Kappan and Teaching Exceptional Children. Past president of the Education Law Association (ELA), he is the author of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) monograph The Legal Meaning of Specific Learning Disability; the more recent 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, now in its fourth edition. In 2012, he received 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 ELA’s Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law. In April 2017, Dr. Zirkel received the Council for Exceptional Children’s Special Education Research Award. In February 2021, he received the President’s Award for Excellence from the National Association of School Psychologists.
Learn about Dr. Zirkel’s work in this video, prepared by the Council for Exceptional Children (2017):