Article from Reason by Scott Shackford.

A federal judge has made it very clear in a new ruling that the government can force you to send your kids to school, but you can’t force the government to actually provide an education there.

Judge Stephen Murphy III of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, just dismissed a case originating from Detroit accusing Gov. Rick Snyder and other state officials of doing such a terrible job when the then-bankrupt city was under the control of emergency managers that they deprived students of a right to an education or even basic literacy.

The plaintiffs argued that this extremely crappy non-education violated their Due Process and Equal Protection rights under the 14th Amendment. The State of Michigan argued that this complaint—a demand for “access to literacy”—is not constitutionally recognized. The judge agreed, though he very much sympathized with the students, and dismissed the case.

While the dismissal is prompting some outrage (and the plaintiffs promise to appeal) it should not come as a surprise. The courts have been extremely reluctant to wade into any space where they define what sort of an education anybody has a “right” to, though they’ve certainly been fine with the government forcing kids to attend regardless. A Supreme Court case from 1973, San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, held that the U.S. Constitution did not establish a “fundamental right to education.”

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons