The Supreme Court has expressly held that there is no fundamental right to education. Indeed, in contrast with almost every other nation on Earth, the United States Constitution does not mention the word “education” at all. While the constitutions of all fifty states guarantee access to some level of public education, the federal judiciary has avoided taking responsibility for schools. The recent emphasis on localism in schooling has created intense funding disparities, which work to systemically disadvantage minorities. What is more, local change is often “short-lived and superficial,” failing to get at the root of the issue. “[S]tate-level legislative inaction, executive acquiescence, and judicial abdication” have combined as a deadly recipe for poor-quality public schools.
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT, COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE, AND THE SEARCH FOR A FEDERAL RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Volume 94, No. 2, Winter 2022