The last few months, I have spoken with dozens of kids in Highland Park, ranging in age from eight to sixteen. Like kids everywhere, they have hopes and dreams of going to college, having successful careers and giving back to their community.

But unlike students in other districts, these kids have been short-changed. They don’t have up-to-date textbooks and, in many cases, they aren't given books at all. They certainly don’t have materials to take home and study after school.

These students struggle to learn in schools with broken windows, leaky ceilings and no heat in the winter. I've seen this tragedy first hand, in the faces of parents and students who are afraid of what the future holds for their education.

Reporters from CNN heard about the conditions from us and came out to Highland Park to see conditions for themselves.

After interviewing teachers, students, parents and our executive director, what kind of a picture did they get about what's happening to education in our state? Check out the video to find out.

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It’s heartbreaking to think of the kinds of roadblocks these bright, interesting, funny and motivated kids will face to achieve their goals just because they don’t happen to live in a place like West Bloomfield or Ann Arbor.

The community has tried to raise their voice and demand better for these kids, but their cries have fallen on deaf ears. Until now.

I'm proud to be a part of the ACLU of Michigan's lawsuit on behalf of students in Highland Park who are not getting the proper public education that should be afforded to every student in our state.

Why? We believe that every student in Michigan has a right to basic literacy and that belief is backed up by state laws that have been ignored and unenforced.

These kids are the future of Michigan. Let’s not throw the future away.

By Shana Schoem, Education Access Legal Fellow