Los Angeles, CA – MALDEF and the University of Houston Law Center will host a panel discussion next week to mark the 35th anniversary of the United State Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Plyler v. Doe, which guaranteed all children access to a free public education from kindergarten to 12th grade, regardless of immigration status.

The high court issued its decision in a lawsuit filed by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), challenging Texas’ effort to charge undocumented immigrant children tuition to attend the public schools.

Writing for the majority, Justice William J. Brennan Jr. concluded that “education provides the basic tools by which individuals might lead economically productive lives to the benefit of us all” and that the state could not constitutionally deny such an education to undocumented children.

In the years since, states and school districts have attempted various means of circumventing the decision, without success. The Court’s vital ruling continues to protect the rights of countless Latino children.

The panel includes:

  • Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel
  • Vilma Martinez, former MALDEF President and General Counsel
  • Peter Roos, former MALDEF National Director of Education Litigation
  • Professor Michael A. Olivas, William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and director of IHELG at the University of Houston Law Center

The program will be from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 27, in the Hendricks Heritage Room at the University of Houston Law Center, 4604 Calhoun Road, Houston, Texas, 77004. Metered parking is available in Lot 19B.

This event will be streamed live on MALDEF’s Facebook page at fb.me/maldef