A Constitutional Right to Learn: The Uncertain Allure of Making a Federal Case out of Education

38 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2008 Last revised: 27 Jul 2008

See all articles by Daniel S. Greenspahn

Daniel S. Greenspahn

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: February 15, 2008

Abstract

Following the Supreme Court's 2007 decision limiting race-conscious school integration plans, advocates have argued about the next steps towards ensuring a quality education for every student. One possibility is to pursue a federal right to education. For thirty five years reformers have brought school funding lawsuits in state courts believing that the Supreme Court closed the door to a federal right to education in San Antonio v. Rodriguez. This article corrects that misunderstanding, but urges advocates not to pursue a federal right to education at this time. Federal courts have recently weakened constitutional protections in schools, whereas state courts have been a successful forum in ensuring that every student has a chance to learn. The lure of a federal right should not distract advocates from continuing to use state courts to ensure that students and schools are given the resources they require.

Keywords: education, education finance, school funding, school finance, right to learn, San Antonio v. Rodriguez, constitutional law, public school, educational adequacy

JEL Classification: I22, I28, 121, 120, H52

Suggested Citation

Greenspahn, Daniel S., A Constitutional Right to Learn: The Uncertain Allure of Making a Federal Case out of Education (February 15, 2008). South Carolina Law Review, Vol. 59, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1094072

Daniel S. Greenspahn (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

3801 Connecticut Avenue NW #316
Washington, DC 20008
United States
917-496-0632 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
235
Abstract Views
1,540
Rank
241,931
PlumX Metrics