Education As Property

28 Pages Posted: 15 May 2019

See all articles by LaToya Baldwin Clark

LaToya Baldwin Clark

UCLA School of Law - UCLA School of Law

Date Written: April 12, 2019


School districts and district attorneys across the country have pursued criminal or civil penalties against parents for enrolling their children in a school district in which neither the child nor parent resides, for "stealing education." The concept that education can be stolen by outsiders brings together multiple strains of law—criminal, education, local government, and property—to allow private parties to think of public, geographically bound resources as their private property that deserves law enforcement protection. In this Article, I engage not with the fact that parents are illegally enrolling their children in school districts in which they do not reside, but with the notion that accusing a family engaged in this behavior of “stealing” allows the accusers to claim education as private. The end result is a regime of surveillance, discipline, and punishment that reproduces race and class stratification.

Suggested Citation

Baldwin Clark, LaToya, Education As Property (April 12, 2019). Virginia Law Review, Vol. 105, No. 2, 2019, Available at SSRN:

LaToya Baldwin Clark (Contact Author)

UCLA School of Law - UCLA School of Law ( email )

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