On December 5, 2019, Hon. William E. Smith, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island will hear oral argument in Cook v. Raimondo, the case that is attempting to establish a right to an education adequate to prepare students for capable citizenship under the U.S. Constitution. The defendants in that case have filed two separate motions to dismiss, one from the commissioner of education and the State Board of Education, and one from the governor and the legislative leaders.
Meanwhile, last month, oral argument was held before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Gary B. v. Snyder, the case that claims that students in Detroit have a right under the U.S. Constitution to an education that provides the basic literacy skills needed for citizenship. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan had granted the state’s motion to dismiss. On appeal, the newly-elected governor and a majority of the state board of education have argued that the case should be considered moot because of recent actions they have taken to re-structure education in Detroit and to provide additional resources to the Detroit schools. See Plaintiffs’ Brief, State Defendants’ Brief, and Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief.