CT Lawsuit Questions Constitutional Right to Education
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A group of high-profile attorneys have put Connecticut at the center of a decades-old debate over whether the federal government is responsible for ensuring that children in the U.S. are provided a quality education.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court Tuesday, attorneys for seven minority students from Hartford and Bridgeport asked the court to recognize education as a new right in the U.S. Constitution. The suit attacks Connecticut for its "failing public schools" and long waiting lists for access to charter and magnet schools.
Forty-three years have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled in the landmark San Antonio v. Rodriguez school-funding case that education was not a constitutional right and that the disparate spending on education for students from low-income neighborhoods was not a violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
"The time has come for the federal courts to recognize a federal constitutional right to some minimal, adequate level of education. We felt Connecticut was a very good place to bring it," said Theodore J. Boutrous, one of the attorneys representing the seven student plaintiffs from low-income families.