Plyler v. Doe 1982

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by jrdoras
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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Plyler v. Doe 1982

Who: James PlylerSuperintendent of Texas public schools

What Happened:1. 1975 Tyler, Texas began charging an annual tuition of $1,000 for unauthorized illegal immigrant students to attend school2. A lay worker called a lawyer to inform him that children were being denied an education because their families could not pay the annual tuition3. The lawyer began working with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)4. The lawyer and the MALDEF filed a case on behalf of four families5. U.S. district judge issued a preliminary injunction requiring Tyler to admit all students and required the state education board to release funds to the Tyler school district for all students6. In 1978, that judge found both the state law and Tyler's policy unconstitutional, holding that they violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause7. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision8. Case went to the U.S. Supreme Court9. In 1982 the Supreme Court struck down the Texas statute in a 5-4 decision, also holding that it violated the equal protection clause10. Justice William Brennan, writing for the majority, characterized this situation as one "imposing special disabilities upon groups disfavored by virtue of circumstances beyond their control [and which] suggests the kind of 'class or caste' treatment that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to abolish."

Where and When:In 1975 school officials in Tyler, Texas began charging an annual tuition of $1,000 for unauthorized illegal immigrant students under the direction of sSuperintendent James Plyler

"Education is the movement from darkness to light" -Allan Bloom

Plyler v Doe1982

Why:This case was extremely significant because it brought to light, the type of injustice and ignorance that was being spread about illegal immigration.

How:Plyler v Doe impacted ELLs and education then and now because it allowed all students to receive an education regardless of immigration status. This is extremely important today due to an increase in immigration

"If the State is to deny a discrete group of innocent children the free public education that it offers to other children residing within its borders, that denial must be justified by a showing that it furthers some substantial state interest. No such showing was made here."


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