Court: State Doesn't Have to Educate Your Children Well


In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District.

In a 2-1 decision that reverses an earlier circuit court ruling that there is a "broad compelling state interest in the provision of an education to all children," the appellate court said that the state has no constitutional requirement to ensure that schoolchildren actually learn fundamental skills such as reading – but rather is obligated only to establish and finance a public education system, regardless of quality. Waving off decades of historic judicial impact on educational reform, the majority opinion also contends that "judges are not equipped to decide educational policy."