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April 14, 2022

Education Law Center is proud to announce the launch of a podcast series, produced in collaboration with LEGAL ONE, that unpacks the decades-long effort to define and implement the right to public education guaranteed all students under the New Jersey Constitution. Enforcement of the constitutional right to education has been key to ensuring educational equity for generations of New Jersey students and serves as a robust blueprint to effectuate and secure the right to education in states across the nation.

The podcasts will be released weekly through early June and will be available on the LEGAL ONE podcast page. Each episode is hosted by David Sciarra, ELC Executive Director and lead counsel in the landmark Abbott v. Burke education equity litigation. Mr. Sciarra engages in conversation with many of the leaders in the struggle to define and secure the constitutional right to an equitable and diverse public education, including former NJ Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein; Paul Tractenberg and Larry Lustberg, key lawyers in launching the Abbott case; Elise Boddie, founder and director of The Inclusion Project at Rutgers Law School; Derek Black, legal scholar from the University of South Carolina Law School; Ellen Frede, co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research; and several leading district superintendents and education advocates.

Spanning “The Equity Divide Pre-Abbott” through the “The Legacy and Lasting National Impact of Abbott,” the series touches on the most significant Abbott rulings defining New Jersey’s constitutional right to public education. These include the right to a rigorous and rich curriculum, adequate school funding, high quality preschool, and safe and modern school buildings. The affirmative obligations imposed upon the State to effectuate these rights for all students is also explored, along with the ongoing efforts to address community poverty, school segregation, systemic racism, and the role of advocacy in the continuing struggle to advance the right to an equitable and diverse public education.

“Through numerous court rulings and legislative enactments since the 1960s, New Jersey now has the most well-defined right to public education of any state in the nation,” said Mr. Sciarra. “These podcasts are intended to inform educators and stakeholders in New Jersey and beyond about the origins, struggle and details of that framework, and why a focus on defining the constitutional right to public education in every state is essential to ensuring all children the opportunity to succeed.

“I was thrilled to host this podcast series and interview so many towering champions of equity. Many thanks to our colleagues at LEGAL ONE. I know it will be an engrossing and enlightening experience to listen to these podcasts.”

Access the entire podcast series here.

Education Law Center, founded in 1973, pursues education justice and equity to ensure that all students receive a high quality public education effectively preparing them to participate as citizens in a democratic society and as valued contributors to a robust economy. 


Press Contact:

Sharon Krengel
Policy and Outreach Director
973-624-1815, x 24