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California appeals court rejects constitutional right to a quality education

File photo: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

A California appeals court has dealt another blow to education advocates arguing the state's system of funding schools is unconstitutional.

In a 2-1 decision issued Wednesday, justices upheld a lower court's decision to throw out the case, which is a consolidation of two lawsuits, Robles-Wong v. California and the Campaign for Quality Education v. California. The plaintiffs in the case included high-profile education groups, including the California Parent-Teacher Association, the California Teachers Association and the state's associations of school board members and administrators. 

Both lawsuits had argued California's state constitution gives students not just a right to access education but also a right to a "quality" education. They said the legislature has not given schools enough funding to make this level of quality possible.

But justices said the plaintiffs were reading too far into the constitution's language.

"Rather, the constitutional sections leave the difficult and policy-laden questions associated with educational adequacy and funding to the legislative branch," wrote Associate Justice Martin Jenkins in the majority opinion. 

In a statement, the plaintiffs said they'll likely attempt to take their case to the state Supreme Court next.