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A Federal Right to EducationFundamental Questions for Our Democracy$
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Kimberly Jenkins Robinson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479893287

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479893287.001.0001

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The Inadequate Right to Education

The Inadequate Right to Education

A Case Study of Obstacles to State Protection

(p.65) 2 The Inadequate Right to Education
A Federal Right to Education

Kristine L. Bowman

NYU Press

In this chapter, Kristine Bowman continues this volume’s exploration of why a federal right to education would be beneficial. She explores state-level obstacles to closing educational opportunity gaps that explain why the United States should not solely rely on state courts or legislatures to remedy inequitable and inadequate state education systems. At the state level, weak or unenforceable rights to education, limited fiscal capacity, and the absence of sufficient political will too often intersect in ways that undermine educational opportunity and leave many schoolchildren without an effective avenue for relief. Bowman focuses on Michigan as a case study to understand these dynamics and also situates Michigan’s experience in a national context that sheds light on the limitations of state reform.

Keywords:   Michigan, fiscal capacity, political will, educational opportunity gaps, state courts, state legislatures, right to education

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