Media Contact

Dana Chicklas,, 734.945.8857

May 14, 2020


DETROIT – The ACLU of Michigan applauds Governor Gretchen Whitmer for agreeing to settle the federal lawsuit Detroit students brought against the State of Michigan for its lack of support for literacy in the Detroit Public School Community District. The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2018 to support the students. In April, the Sixth Circuit issued a historic ruling affirming that students have a fundamental right to literacy and education under the U.S. Constitution. The opinion cited the ACLU’s brief, which focused on the systemic racism statewide driving oppression in Detroit for generations.

Dave Noble, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, has this reaction:

“Every child has the fundamental right to a quality public education, including the right to read, regardless of their zip code.  Parents, teachers, and experts in Detroit have sounded the alarm bells for decades warning that a child who cannot read will be disenfranchised for a lifetime. Today we commend the Governor for heeding these calls and ending the state’s defense of the indefensible. We continue to work to dismantle the generations of systemic racism in this state and country, and that starts with equal access to education.”

Read case background.