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Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Students Have the Right to Basic Minimum Education

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled on Thursday that Detroit students at under-performing schools have the fundamental right to a basic minimum education.


The 2-1 decision concluded that the state “by virtue of its supervisory authority over all public education in Michigan, has a responsibility to ensure that each school it oversees at least provides access to literacy.” The court examined the complex history of fundamental rights in the U.S. and the Supreme Court’s precedent for state-provided education, namely, its landmark decisions in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973) and Plyer v. Doe (1982):

The state provision of a basic minimum education has a longstanding presence in our history and tradition, and is essential to our concept of ordered constitutional liberty. Under the Supreme Court’s substantive due process cases, this suggests [basic minimum education] should be recognized as a fundamental right.

Read entire article at The Jurist