Defending Education: A Democratic Role for Courts in Education Policy

What role (if any) should courts play in education policy within a democratic society? In the United States, there are significant and persistent gaps in education funding between the richest and the poorest school districts. In response, some have argued that state and federal courts should hold legislatures accountable for meeting their educational promises to the most vulnerable public-school students. Some, like the Washington Supreme Court, have gone so far as to fine the legislature $100,000 a day until it passes a satisfactory education funding law. This paper examines the legitimacy and desirability of these legal actions from a democratic perspective, assessing the democratic benefits and costs of court action. 

Alexandra Oprea is a Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Australian National University who specializes in political philosophy and PPE. Her interests include democracy, distribution, and education, and her research often engages with the work of Rousseau.

This talk will be hosted on Zoom. For more information, please email Lucy Schwarz. 

Event Contacts
Lucy Schwarz