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MASSACHUSETTS

Hancock v. Driscoll., 2004 Mass. Super. LEXIS 118 (Super. Ct. 2004), Plaintiffs' motion for further relief denied by 443 Mass. 428, 822 N.E.2d 1134 (Mass. 2005).

In 2004, the Superior Court of Massachusetts at Suffolk issued a lengthy Report to the Supreme Judicial Court on the remedy phase of McDuffy that concluded with several recommendations to the Supreme Judicial Court concerning remedial relief for Plaintiff students. On appeal, the Supreme Court “decline[d] to adopt the conclusion of the specially assigned judge of the Superior Court that the Commonwealth [wa]s not meeting its obligations under Part II, c. 5, § 2, of the Massachusetts Constitution, and reject[ed] her recommendation for further judicial action…. [T]he single justice's ongoing jurisdiction [was] terminated [and]… the court dispose[d] of the case in its entirety.” 443 Mass. at 430, 822 N.E.2d at 1136.


McDuffy v. Sec’y of the Executive Office of Educ., 415 Mass. 545, 615 N.E.2d 516 (Mass. 1993).

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that the Massachusetts Constitution required the magistrates and legislatures of the commonwealth to provide education in the public schools for all children, and found that “the current state of affairs falls short of the constitutional mandate,” due to the disproportionate allocation of state funds that resulted in a lower quality of education in poorer districts. Furthermore, the court adopted the adequacy standard established by the Kentucky Supreme Court in Rose v. Council for Better Education, Inc., 790 S.W.2d 186 (Ky. 1989), and held that "[a]n educated child must possess at least the seven following capabilities: (i) sufficient oral and written communication skills to enable students to function in a complex and rapidly changing civilization; (ii) sufficient knowledge of economic, social, and political systems to enable students to make informed choices; (iii) sufficient understanding of governmental processes to enable the student to understand the issues that affect his or her community, state, and nation; (iv) sufficient self-knowledge and knowledge of his or her mental and physical wellness; (v) sufficient grounding in the arts to enable each student to appreciate his or her cultural and historical heritage; (vi) sufficient training or preparation for advanced training in either academic or vocational fields so as to enable each child to choose and pursue life work intelligently; and (vii) sufficient level of academic or vocational skills to enable public school students to compete favorably with their counterparts in surrounding states, in academics or in the job market." 790 S.W.2d at 212.

Commonwealth v. Dedham, 16 Mass. 141, 146 (Mass. 1819).

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in this case that schools must "be maintained for the benefit of the whole town, as it is the wise policy of the law to give all the inhabitants equal privileges, for the education of their children in the public schools. Nor is it in the power of the majority to deprive the minority of this privilege."