Ellen Henrion


“[I]t is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down public school segregation laws and declared that equal access to education was a right that must be afforded to every student. Sixty years after this landmark decision, significant education equity issues continue to plague the country’s schools, which are still “disturbingly racially segregated.” Students who attend mostly white or low-poverty schools are much more likely to receive a quality education4 than their peers who attend high-minority or high-poverty schools. Today, Missouri students are left to wonder why, if education is a right that “must be made available to all on equal terms,” such inequalities are so prevalent amongst their schools.

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