Students in Detroit filed a lawsuit in 2016 after attending a school with deteriorating conditions, inadequate teachers, and a lack of textbooks. These issues raised a big question—to what extent do students have a constitutional right to education? A Federal Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of the students. While the case only applies to the four states within the 6th Court of Appeals jurisdiction, the issue may soon be a national question if it reaches the Supreme Court.
Those who argue that students have a constitutional right to education contend that the skills that one learns in school are essential to civic life. For example, they argue that citizens in a free society need to be literate in order to participate in a democracy. This side tends to believe that the economic inequalities that prevent someone from receiving a good education violate his or her rights.
Those who argue that students do not have a constitutional right to an education argue that the Constitution itself is silent on this issue. This side also contends that while individuals should be able to have access to education in general, making it a right could have detrimental consequences. For example, it may impose a large financial burden on states as vast changes would need to be made. Instead, this side tends to believe that inequalities should be addressed through legislation, not by the judicial branch.
So, what do you think? Do students have a constitutional right to education? Students can either argue Yes, students have a constitutional right to an education; No, students do not; or something else!
Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:
-Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
-Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers
-Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
-Address counter-arguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner
-Are organized in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly