Taking action to protect their right to a free public school education, guaranteed to them under the Maryland Constitution, students in Prince George’s County filed a lawsuit challenging mandatory fees for summer school classes required for students to advance in school and to graduate. The students’ lawsuit, brought against the Prince George’s County School Board, seeks a preliminary injunction to lift summer school fees for this summer.

The Constitution of Maryland establishes the mandate for free public schools. The Maryland Court of Appeals has interpreted this provision as requiring schools to “be open to all without expense.” However, Prince George’s County has a long and unfortunate history of denial of educational opportunity, particularly to students who are Black or poor. Now, by denying indigent students the opportunity to attend summer school classes if they cannot afford them, PGCSB is violating the explicit terms of the Maryland Constitution.

061319 Press Release: Prince George’s Students Fight for Right to Public Education, Challenging Fees for Required Summer School

 

 

Attorney(s)

Richard A. Koffman, Emmy L. Levens, and Adam H. Farra of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC; Ajmel Quereshi, Director of the Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic; and Deborah Jeon, Legal Director for the ACLU of Maryland

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

Date filed

June 12, 2019

Court

Circuit Court for Prince George's County

Status

Pending

Case number

CAL 19-19310

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