Attorney General Dana Nessel On The Constitutional Right To Education

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel talks about her support of a lawsuit that says Detroit students are being denied that right to literacy.

Jake Neher/WDET

Are we all guaranteed a right to literacy under the U.S. Constitution? Students in Detroit say we are. And they say they’re being denied that right because of deplorable conditions in their schools. They’ve filed a historic lawsuit that’s now in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals. And recently, Michigan Attorney General filed a 45-page brief supporting the students’ position. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, on the other hand, says the case should be dismissed, because the school district is no longer under state control, and therefore the state should not be the target of the lawsuit.

Nessel joins Stephen to discuss the issue and listeners weigh in with their thoughts on the lawsuit as well. 

The following is a statement the governor’s office sent to Detroit Today: 

“The Governor’s Office signed onto the first part of the lawsuit only, which argues that the State of Michigan is no longer a proper party to the lawsuit due to changed circumstances and the fact that local control has been restored.  She rejected the position of the previous administration in this case. The governor believes that every child has a birthright to and deserves a quality public education. That’s why her proposed budget will make the biggest investment in public school operations in a generation of kids, including more than $22 million for Detroit Public Schools. Her budget will allow us to do things like triple the number of literacy coaches in Michigan, improve buildings and facilities, and help schools raise teacher pay, reduce class sizes, and upgrade technology. The governor’s budget will also provide more funding for low-income and at-risk children and help them get on paths to good-paying jobs.”

Click on the audio player to hear the full conversation. 



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