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Martha Minow, Foreword to A Federal Right to Education: Fundamental Questions for Our Democracy (Kimberly Jenkins Robinson ed., 2019).

Abstract: The United States Supreme Court closed the courthouse door to federal litigation to narrow educational funding and opportunity gaps in schools when it ruled in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez in 1973 that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to education. Rodriguez pushed reformers back to the state courts where they have had some success in securing reforms to school funding systems through education and equal protection clauses in state constitutions, but far less success in changing the basic structure of school funding in ways that would ensure access to equitable and adequate funding for schools. Given the limitations of state school funding litigation, education reformers continue to seek new avenues to remedy inequitable disparities in educational opportunity and achievement, including recently returning to federal court. This book is the first comprehensive examination of three issues regarding a federal right to education: why federal intervention is needed to close educational opportunity and achievement gaps; the constitutional and statutory legal avenues that could be employed to guarantee a federal right to education; and, the scope of what a federal right to education should guarantee. A Federal Right to Education provides a timely and thoughtful analysis of how the United States could fulfill its unmet promise to provide equal educational opportunity and the American Dream to every child, regardless of race, class, language proficiency, or neighborhood.