Your Constitutional Right to Kindergarten

Radley Balko found this gem turd in the Wall Street Journal:

This spring, at least 65,000 undocumented immigrant students, many of whom have been in this country most of their lives, will graduate from high school. The Constitution guarantees a public-school K-12 education for every child in the U.S. But after that, their future is uncertain.

They didn’t offer kindergarten in my school system when I was a kid — “First” Grade meant exactly that. Does this mean I can sue the school system for violating my civil rights?

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. It is true that the US Constitution does not guarantee this “right” and I personally am opposed to government-run schools but some states DO enshrine this “right” in their state constitution.


  2. Education is one of those areas where I stray a little from the “platform” of the LP. My reasoning is simple enough, though the implementation is snarled all to hell:

    Un uneducated mind is an unreasoning mind. An unreasoning mind is an enslaved mind.

    Now, the only way to ensure that everyone *has access* to a bare minimum of education to prevent the current downward spiral into serfdom is to make the funding allocation for this education a function of the state. At least, that’s the only viable option I personally can see. *IF* someone chooses not to partake of that for their children, that should also be their right.

    And quite frankly, I am vastly preferential of the voucher systems being implemented in some places. While likely not affecting the *material* presented, it sure as hell affects its presentation. And yes, this means I support the taxation necessary to cause this to occur. No, I don’t care to hear anyone’s “All taxes are always theft” rants. I disagree. *s*

  3. I’m with you Ian, although for slightly different reasons. I think there is an increased risk for brutal despots to take root when a population is largely uneducated. When people can’t read, they have less of an idea what is happening in their country and the world….they believe whatever government tells them, have less ability to fight it, and become sheep. Not that we don’t see some of that in the US today, but imagine how much worse it would be if the population was largely uneducated.

    All the same, I hope WSJ prints a retraction!!

  4. “…if the population was largely uneducated.”

    Actually, the population is largely uneducated. To be educated really means being able to think independently and seek out information when needed. It’s not just a matter of knowing the abc’s and remembering a bunch of dates.

  5. Eponym, jeffrey — I think we are all in agreement here;

    There once was a time when a man who couldn’t read english, greek, latin, and french was considered merely “Semi-literate.”

    Our current educational system does not enlighten, it indoctrinates. This needs to be changed. As it stands, the majority of people within this nation are essentially serfs, and the conditions are getting worse.

    But removing the availability of education to those without the economic means to provide it for themselves… that is an act to restrict freedom, which I cannot endorse.

  6. I thought New Hampshire was the only state where free government kindergarten is up to the local school district?

  7. I haven’t read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights in a few months, but last I checked, there was no amendment guaranteeing schooling for anyone….citizen or not. I would also argue that an education under Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program is a bit lacking…. maybe Bush and company should spend some of the money that is being used in the War on Fundamentalism, on a War against Illiteracy and Ignorance… but the last thing the Bush regime wants is an educated populace.