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Glenn College Colloquium - A Constitutional Right to Education: K-12 Educational Jurisprudence Among United States Circuit Court

Event Type
Event Date
March 21, 2022
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET
Hybrid: Page Hall Room 130 (LEC) or Zoom Meeting

Glenn College Colloquium - A Constitutional Right to Education: K-12 Educational Jurisprudence Among United States Circuit Court with Dr. Rhodesia McMillian

No registration required. Attend in person at Page Hall Room 130 (LEC) or on Zoom by clicking "Join on Zoom". 

Public education within the United States has primarily been the responsibility of the states and litigation relative to students' right to education has traditionally been remanded to the states and lower courts. On April 23, 2020, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled—in the case of Gary B. v. Whitmer —that, according to the United States Constitution, students have “a fundamental right” to a “basic minimum education.” This decision sets resounding precedence across other court circuits; inspiring the foundation for states to revise public school policies. Similarly, cases such as Cook v. Raimondo and Indigo Williams, et al. v. Phil Bryant et al have also centered the vital query—do American students have a constitutional right to education? This presentation will provide an overview of three court cases, their implications for education policy, and conceptualize the shifting jurisprudence toward determining if American students have a constitutional right to education. The research reported in this presentation was made possible by a grant from the Spencer Foundation (#202100281). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Spencer Foundation.

Dr. Rhodesia McMillian’s research agenda focuses on how federal, state and local education policies impact the educational experiences of students of color and students with disabilities, how educational disparities persist in K-12 public education. A nationally certified school psychologist, Rhodesia McMillian received her PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia after consecutive careers of being an autism teacher, a school psychologist and intervention specialist. She joined the college in 2019 as a member of the inaugural cohort of the Dean’s Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Utilizing critical methodologies and theories, McMillian is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research bridges K-12 education reform law, education policy, elementary and secondary educational governance, special education law and sociology. She has worked in public schools for more than 10 years and currently contracts with Columbus City Schools as a school psychologist. She also served at the university level for close to five years as associate director of K-12 Access, Programming and Engagement in the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, University of Missouri-Columbia.