Hancock v Commissioner of Education with Associate Justice Margot Botsford
Thursday - 3/13
Rooms 231 and 232
Honorable Margot Botsford, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, will be speaking about the important education law case, Hancock v Commissioner of Education.
The Hancock case followed upon McDuffy v Secretary of the Executive Office of Education, 415 Mass. 545 (1993), in which the SJC held that the Commonwealth had failed to provide the plaintiffs, students in a number of public school districts across the state, with the level and quality of education required by the Massachusetts Constitution. Years later, following state education reform (including the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 and the institution of MCAS), a new set of students argued that despite these measures the Commonwealth still was not meeting its obligations. The SJC appointed Justice Botsford, at the time a judge in the Superior Court, to hear the evidence and make recommendations.
In a very careful, very detailed opinion (2004 WL 877984) Justice Botsford set forth the ways in which the Commonwealth was failing to meet its constitutional obligations and recommended a course of action. In Hancock v. Commissioner of Education, 443 Mass. 428 (2005), the SJC declined to adopt her recommendations.
Justice Botsford will speak about her role as a judge in this litigation, the procedural aspects of the case, and the potential and limits of litigation as a solution to complex social problems.
Please join us for this exciting event. Feel free to email Professor Amy Reichbach with any questions.