Is there a right to education and literacy?


Is there a right to education and literacy?



When we think about access to education, we think of “separate but equal,” locker searches, and gun safety, but there is a more basic question that too-often gets left out: is there a right to education in the first place? Do all students have a right to literacy and other basic knowledge, regardless of who they are or even how hard they work? And, do zero-tolerance policies undermine kids’ access to schools? Is suspending and expelling students violations of their rights, even with due process? These are the questions that focus this episode of Why? Radio. In it, we ask both whether there is a constitutional right to an education and whether there is a moral right to one.

Derek Black is a Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. His areas of expertise include education law and policy, constitutional law, civil rights, evidence, and torts. He is the author of numerous articles, and the books Zero Tolerance: The Crisis of Absolute School Discipline and Education Law: Equality, Fairness and Reform.


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Institute for Philosophy in Public Life



Is there a right to education and literacy?