A settlement in a Detroit “right-to-read” lawsuit could have significant ramifications for a similar case filed by students in Rhode Island who are seeking to affirm their constitutional right to a civics education.
In the Detroit case, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer agreed on Thursday to pay $2.7 million to the Detroit schools for literacy programs. Whitmer also said she would submit legislation that would provide the Detroit public schools with an additional $94.4 million for more literacy programs. (The legislature would have to approve the additional spending).
Last month, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes the state of Michigan, dismissed the trial court’s decision and found that the plaintiffs, a group of Detroit students, had made a case for their suit to go forward.
In Rhode Island, the suit argues that Rhode Island students are being denied their constitutional right to a civics education.
During a hearing last year before U.S. District Court Judge William Smith, Michael Rebell, the students’ lawyer, argued that Rhode Island is failing its students by not instructing them in the values needed to participate in a democratic society.