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Federal Appeals Court Vacates “Right to Literacy” Ruling

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Despite Michigan settling the lawsuit from Detroit public school students, the federal appeals court that delivered a victory has vacated it’s ruling.

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A federal court that asserted students in Detroit have a right to a basic education has reversed that decision.

The Sixth Circuit of Appeals ruled last month on a lawsuit filed by students who attended Detroit Public Schools while the district was under state control. The students said dilapidated buildings, a shortage of qualified teachers and a lack of classroom materials were just some of the obstacles that kept them from learning.

Two of three judges on the panel that heard the case sided with the students. Yesterday that ruling was vacated after a vote by 16 of the court’s active judges. Now the case has returned to “pending” status.

Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a settlement with the plaintiffs that would support literacy programs in city schools.The seven plaintiffs will divide almost $300,000. 

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say vacating the court’s decision cannot affect the settlement.

The 6th Circuit presides over Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

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Sascha Raiyn, Education Reporter

Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.

sraiyn@wdet.org Follow @raiyn

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