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Stateside: GM sues Fiat Chrysler; shrinking revenue for municipalities; is there a right to read?

a young black boy raises his hand at a desk with a book on it
Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio
Do students have a constitutional right to literacy? That question is at the heart of a Detroit lawsuit that was argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals late last month.

Today on Stateside, General Motors is suing rival automaker Fiat Chrysler. We’ll hear about how corruption charges against the UAW and Fiat Chrysler are at the heart of the lawsuit. Plus, a case before a federal appeals court looks at whether some Detroit students’ constitutional rights were violated by subpar learning environments and instruction.

Listen to the full show above or find individual interviews below. 

Howes: Marchionne legacy at risk as GM sues Fiat Chrysler

Stateside’s conversation with Daniel Howes

  • A mighty big shoe has dropped in the still-unfolding UAW corruption probe. This twist involves a racketeering lawsuit that GM has filed against crosstown rival Fiat Chrysler. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reported on what the lawsuitis all about and how FCA has responded to it. We also talk to Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes about how the suit, tied to an ongoing federal investigation into corruption at the UAW and FCA, might impact the legacy of the company’s late CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Revenue is shrinking for Michigan municipalities. New report says state should help fill the gap.

Stateside’s conversation with Chris Hackbarth

  • Michigan communities saw a big dip in municipal revenues during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. The Michigan Municipal League wanted to find out if those revenues recovered as our state climbed out of the recession. They did not. Chris Hackbarth is director of state and federal affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. We spoke with him about why revenues haven’t risen even as the state recovered economically, and what local and state government can do about it.

Do students have a constitutional right to a good education? Federal case could decide.

Stateside’s conversations with Erin Einhorn

  • Do students have a constitutional right to literacy? That question is at the heart of a Detroit lawsuit that was argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals late last month. The suit was filed in 2016 on behalf of some students from Detroit public and charter schools. It argued that sub-standard classroom conditions and a lack of certified teachers and up-to-date textbooks kept the students from learning to read. NBC News digital reporter Erin Einhorn explained what the plaintiffs are arguing, and how it ties into other lawsuits centering on the quality of education student receive.

What does the government owe students when it comes to education?

Stateside's conversation with Derek Black and Kristine Bowman

  • This lawsuit got us thinking: what is the role and responsibility of government when it comes to providing an education? Do all children have a right to a certain quality of education? Or does government just need to make sure that there is a school building and teachers available? We discussed these questions with two people who spend a lot of time thinking about that. Derek Black is a law professor at the University of South Carolina where his research focuses on constitutional law and education. Kristine Bowman professor of law and education at Michigan State University, as well as an associate dean of MSU's College of Education. She filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Detroit students in the lawsuit.

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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