Right to Education in the State of Georgia
Education is regarded as one of the main pre-requisites for the ability of a person to succeed in society. This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about young children who are not self-sufficient (Johnson, 2010). Nevertheless, legislators can have conflicting views on the extent to which the right to education should be guaranteed by the state. American policy-makers try to eliminate the inequalities caused by the legacies of racism (James, 2015). Yet, education is not recognized as a fundamental right in Georgia. Admittedly, its Constitution includes the section according to which “The provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State” (The State of Georgia, 1981). Nevertheless, this statement does not mean that every person has a fundamental right to education. This is one of the issues that be taken into account.
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It is possible to refer to the Supreme Court case, San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973) which implies that a person cannot have unlimited access to various forms of education. One can also mention such a case McDaniel v. Thomas (1981) since it was directly related to the implementation of educational policies in Georgia. In particular, this court decision also suggests that education cannot be viewed as a fundamental right that should be guaranteed by the state. It should be noted that each of these decisions was supposed to resolve the problems related to school funding. In particular, the judges argued that the government was not legally obliged to remove economic inequalities between school districts by providing additional funding. This is the main financial implication of this case. One should keep in mind that in this context, the inequalities are determined by the economic environment, rather than discriminatory practices which are not permissible. To a great extent, these decisions are based on the premise that a certain privilege can be called a fundamental right only if it is explicitly mentioned in the Constitution (Superfine, 2013, p. 77). In turn, education is not enumerated as one of such privileges. Furthermore, one can say that it is not practical to regard education as a fundamental right because the resources of the community are limited (Raj 2011). These are the main aspects that can be distinguished.
Overall, these decisions can have profound implications for the work of various educational institutions. For instance, they can be applied to justify permanent expulsion from schools provided that a student violates the disciplinary rules adopted by the organization. One cannot say that these court cases can affect the ethical decision of school leaders because they do not legitimize any unethical practices such as discrimination based on gender, race, or ethnicity. The right to education is denied due to such reasons as the failure to meet certain academic standards or violations of disciplinary rules. To a great extent, it is possible to accept this view on education. Admittedly, policy-makers can argue that education is vital for every person (Imber, 2013, p. 212). Nevertheless, it is critical to remember that the resources of educational institutions are limited, and they can serve only a limited number of people. Furthermore, people cannot always meet the requirements which are critical for adequate performance in various fields of study. This is why it is difficult to regard education as a fundamental right in Georgia or other parts of the United States.
Imber, M. (2013). A Teacher’s Guide to Education Law. New York, NY: Routledge.
James, R. (2015). How to Fulfill a Broken Promise: Revisiting and Reaffirming the Importance of Desegregated Equal Educational Access and Opportunity. Arkansas Law Review, 68(1), 159-194.
Johnson, R. (2010). The Child’s Right to an Education: ‘Consensus-Minus-One’? International Journal Of Children’s Rights, 18(2), 185-216.
McDaniel v. Thomas, 37611, 37612. (1981).
Raj, U. (2011). Fundamental Rights and Their Enforcemennt. New York, NY: PHI Learning.
San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973).
Superfine, B. (2013). Equality in Education Law and Policy, 1954-2010. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The State of Georgia. (1981). The Constitution of Georgia. Web.