Have You Heard: Getting Fundamental: Do Americans Have a Right to Public Education?

What does the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, have to do with the teacher walkouts that are sweeping across the land today? Everything, explains law professor Derek Black in the latest episode of Have You Heard. Short version of the history: all 50 states have language enshrining their responsibilities to provide public education to their citizens. The deep spending cuts, and the expansion of charter schools and private school vouchers, represent an effort to hack away at the states’ obligations. If you’re wondering why so many protesters in Arizona, Colorado and [insert name of next state here] have been citing their state constitutions, well, here’s your answer!

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Jennifer Berkshire

Jennifer Berkshire is a freelance journalist and public education advocate. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Baffler, Salon, Alternate, the Progressive, and Bloomberg EDU.

Jack Schneider

Jack Schneider is an Assistant Professor of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the author of three books, the latest of which is Beyond Test Scores: A Better Way to Measure School Quality. He co-hosts the education policy podcast Have You Heard.