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Minn. Supreme Court Green-Lights School Segregation Lawsuit

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Supreme Court gives the go ahead for a lawsuit that claims school segregation denies some students the right to an adequate education.

The original Cruz-Guzman case was filed in 2015 by parents and a community group. It argues the state has failed to provide Minneapolis and St. Paul school children with an "adequate" education because of segregation.

"We intend to take the fight from here until we eventually get better education for all children in Minnesota," said Attorney Dan Shulman.

Shulman has been fighting for the right of all children to have an adequate education for 23 years. He represents parents of children who complained schools segregated by racial and economic factors have put children of color and metro children into lower-performing schools -- violating their rights.

School Generic
(credit: CBS)

"We lay out in our complaint, very convincingly, the numbers about segregation in the Minneapolis and St. Paul schools, and the effect it's had in terms of performance and the inability to education these children," Shulman said.

In the past, the state had argued this issue should be left to the legislature. But the Minnesota Supreme Court gave the green light Wednesday for the lawsuit to move forward in the courts.

"The decision is so important because it says that if the state allows, permits or is responsible for a segregated school system, they are violating their duty under the Minnesota Constitution to provide an adequate education," Shulman said.

Minnesota has one of the largest achievement gaps between white and black students in the country. Shulman points to that as one reason this case should be heard by a judge.

Shulman, who is working this case pro-bono, says hopes to have it heard in front of a judge within a year.

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