The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the state of Michigan and a local school district for failing to properly educate the the district's young students.
The class-action law suit - the first of its kind - alleges that hundreds of students from the Detroit-area district are functionally illiterate and not reading well enough for their age.
The school district has yet to respond to the legal action. Already facing an $11 million budget deficit, it may not be able to remedy the problem anytime soon.
Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler reports.