St. Mary’s University’s Chicano Civil Rights Series this year focused on the civil rights implications of San Antonio ISD v. Rodriguez, a landmark case on educational funding equity that reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972.

St. Mary’s hosted a panel discussion on Thursday titled, “Rethinking Rodriguez: Education as a Fundamental Right.” The event also served as a tribute to parents who filed a class-action lawsuit against Texas and Bexar County’s school districts on behalf of children in poor school districts.

The panel and discussion featured Albert Kauffman of the Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity, Boalt School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley; Norma Cantu, professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law; and David Hinojosa, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund in San Antonio.

This landmark case, which upheld the Texas system for financing public education, and declared that education was not a “fundamental right.” The panel will discuss the far-reaching and negative implications of that case for the educational attainment of Latinos in the United States, and how legal scholars and practicing attorneys are rethinking the case and engaging public discourse on education as a fundamental right.

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