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Michigan Civil Rights Commission Issues Statement on US Court of Appeals Ruling that Education is a Fundamental Right

Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission (the Commission), has issued the following statement on today's ruling by the US Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit that education is a fundamental right.

"We applaud the ruling today from the US Court of Appeals stating that every student has the right to a basic minimum education. Over the course of a year, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission held hearings all across this state, examining discrimination in Michigan schools. We learned many things from these hearings, but none more important than that not every Michigan student was receiving the minimal level of education that would enable them to fully participate in public life. That is why last November we issued a resolution finding public education to be a civil rights issue and a minimally effective education to be a civil right. Today's ruling gives us hope that one day every student, including those who learn in Michigan's largest cities and our most sparsely-populated counties, will receive the effective education that is their right."

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.