The ACLU is suing the state of Michigan and the Highland Park (MI) school district for violating students’ right under the state constitution to “learn to read.”

My friend and editor, Sam Chaltain, has written eloquently about this case and the larger issues surrounding it. Most notably, he briefly traces the ongoing political battle in the U.S. over whether education should in fact (and under law) be a protected, guaranteed right of every American child.

Here’s a slice:

Although this case is the first of its kind, we’ve been having this debate for a loooong time now. For years, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has tried — and failed — to introduce language for a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution “regarding the right of all citizens of the United States to a public education of equal high quality.”

Then there’s the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, a 1989 gathering that resulted in the first legally binding international treaty and establishment of universally recognized norms and standards for the protection and promotion of children’s rights. By any account it was an overwhelming success; all but three member nations signed on.

The three holdouts? Somalia. South Sudan. And us.

You need to read his entire post, then join the conversation. Should a quality education be the birthright of every child in America? How essential is that to the future of our nation? Do we have the moral and political will to pay for such an education for all our children the way many other nations have for theirs?

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