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TroublemakersStudents' Rights and Racial Justice in the Long 1960s$
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Kathryn Schumaker

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479875139

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479875139.001.0001

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A Right to Equal Education

A Right to Equal Education

The Fourteenth Amendment and American Schools

(p.131) 4 A Right to Equal Education

Kathryn Schumaker

NYU Press

This chapter discusses the development of Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence in the area of students’ rights during the 1960s and 1970s. It focuses in particular on the courts’ interpretation of equal protection in regard to school desegregation, bilingual education, and students with disabilities. The chapter argues that, during the 1970s, the Supreme Court dramatically narrowed its interpretation of equal protection, and in doing so, it limited the ability of advocates for students of color to pursue racial discrimination cases in court. The chapter discusses how advocates for non-English-speaking students and students with disabilities sought to use the Fourteenth Amendment to make claims on behalf of these children, who were sometimes excluded from schools entirely. This chapter also examines the San Antonio v. Rodriguez case, in which the Supreme Court rejected the claim that the Constitution protects a right to education.

Keywords:   Fourteenth Amendment, school desegregation, equal protection, bilingual education, students with disabilities, students’ rights, right to education, San Antonio v. Rodriguez

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