Journal of Law and Policy


In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that education was not a fundamental right, leaving in place systems that continue today to perpetrate vast inequities among school districts. Through a comparative analysis of treaties, constitutions, legislation, and international and state judicial decisions, we demonstrate that education is indeed a fundamental human right, though our constitutional jurisprudence has denied its fundamental right status. We use case studies from Baltimore, a typical city whose residents face economic hardships, to reveal the dire consequences of this ruling. Without the right to an education, schoolchildren in poor systems continue to be deprived of the myriad of human rights that a quality education delivers.