San Antonio Case Study

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San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez
411 U.S. 1, 93 S. Ct. 1278, 36 L. Ed. 2d 16, 1973 U.S. LEXIS 91
In 1968, a group of parents and children from San Antonio, Texas filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Texas’s system for funding public schools (Sutton, 2008). The State of Texas provided free primary and secondary education for the children of the State. The state provided a set amount of funding for each district based on the number of students in the district. The local school districts responsibility was to makes up the difference in operating expense with funds from local property taxes. This dependence on property taxes results in a large inequality in per student spending between property …show more content…

While Alamo Heights, the most affluent school district in the San Antonio generated $594 per pupil, which consisted of $225 provided by the state guarantee, $36 in federal funds and $333 of discretionary local-property-tax revenue. Additionally, Edgewood was 90% Hispanic and 6% African-American, while Alamo Heights was predominantly Caucasian, 18% Hispanic and less than 1% African-American (Sutton, 2008).
Is education a fundamental right for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment? The lawsuit claimed that under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that education is a fundamental right. Plaintiffs alleged that this denies the children in poor district Equal Protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In a 5-4 decision against, denied. Therefore, the court ruled that education is not a fundamental right under the …show more content…

Therefore, the Supreme Court is saying that in order for a fundamental right to be recognizable under Fourteenth Amendment, it must be defined by the Constitution. Regardless of the fact that a particular role should be executed by the government, does not establish it as fundamental right according to the decision. As referenced by Justice Powell, if it is not written explicitly in the Constitution, it is not a role of the government to guarantee it as a right of the people. The court’s decision that education is not a fundamental right under the United States Constitution refocused local control over school funding formulas. Surprisingly, even though the court’s decision suggests to maintain the status quo; the exact opposite happened. According to Sutton (2008), public outcry became so overwhelming that almost every state changed their funding formula. In essence, while the federal government refused to do anything about the injustice; local state government corrected the issue in accordance with the aim of the Tenth

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