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Education Reform and Detroit’s Right to Literacy Litigation


Kristine L. Bowman


December 13, 2018

Ongoing education reform litigation arising out of Detroit, Michigan presents an innovative claim: Children have an unenumerated federal constitutional right of access to literacy. On June 29, 2018, the district court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss. The case is now on appeal to the Sixth Circuit and is expected to be argued in the first half of 2019. This litigation has already broken new ground and, regardless of the ultimate outcome, it is valuable because it invites us to revisit fundamental questions about rights, remedies, and the role of courts in education reform.


Kristine L. Bowman, Education Reform and Detroit’s Right to Literacy Litigation, 75 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 61 (2018).