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Constitutional FAQ Answer #67

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Q67. "Is there anything in the U.S. Constitution that guarantees its citizens an education? My uncle is being forced to pay for summer school for his children by the NYC Board of Education. Unless he pays, my cousins are going to have to repeat the grade. I see this as an attack on the lower classes, who will obviously have a problem paying for their 'public school' education."

A. There is no enumerated constitutional right to an education. A state constitution may include such a right, but I doubt that being required to pay for education would be considered a violation of that right. The problem with something like your uncle's situation is that, to be blunt, if a child does not apply himself enough during the school year to pass from one grade to the next, is it the school's responsibility to pay for that child to have remedial classes to move along? I suspect not; after all, if your uncle does not wish to pay, the kids could just repeat the grade for free.


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