People and the American flag


Every state constitution includes language mandating the establishment of a public education system. At least 15 state constitutions and multiple state statutes hold that public education is “essential to the preservation of rights and liberties of the people” or necessary to maintain a government “by the people.” Many state courts have considered state constitutional challenges rooted in the right to education or an adequate education — a guarantee that is not included in the U.S. Constitution. 

Educational issues include inadequate or inequitable funding, efforts to ban books, limits on teaching “critical race theory,” access or limits to charter schools and vouchers, education tax structures, educational accommodations, teacher tenure and pensions, gender identity policies, school discipline, and limits to a school board’s authority.

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A project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law