The place to start researching federal law on special education is with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. The most recent major amendment to IDEA occured in 2004. As a well-litigated statute, starting research in an annotated code, or in one of the secondary sources listed on the first page of this guide, will be fruitful for learning more about its provisions.
Massachusetts General Law ch. 71B covers education for children with special needs.
In Massachusetts, The Bureau of Special Education Appeals handles disputes between parents and schools regarding many aspects of special education.
The BSEA decisions are reported in the Massachusetts Special Education Reporter. This is available on the 4th floor of the law library, at call # KFM 2795.9 .H3 M37. In addition to decisions, the reporter includes hearing rules and expert commentary.
The decisions themselves are also available in the Social Law Library databases, avaialbe through the law library website list of databases.
These links go to various government agencies charged with overseeing special education.