Family Moves and the Future of Public Education

State laws compel school-aged children to attend school while fully funding only public schools. Especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, this arrangement is under attack—from some for unconstitutionally coercing families to expose their children to non-neutral values to which they object and from others for ignoring the developmental needs of students, particularly students of color and in poverty whom public schools have long underserved. This article by CPRL's Prof. Jim Liebman, Prof. Elizabeth Chu, Maddy Sims, and Tim Wong in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review argues that fully subsidized public education is constitutional as long as public schools fulfill their mission to model and commit people to liberal democratic values of tolerance and respect for all persons as equal choosers. (May 2023)