Model School Code on Education and Dignity

Appendix II: Rationale for the Right to Counsel Provisions

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The Model Code on Education and Dignity would guarantee a right to publicly funded counsel for students in certain discipline, truancy and manifestation proceedings. Such a right represents one of the more significant costs triggered by the Model Code, but at the same time is essential to the effectuation of all the other rights provided in the Code. While the concept of a right to counsel in certain types of government-initiated civil cases is not new (most states, for example, provide such a right either by statute or court decision in abuse/neglect or termination of parental rights cases), the issue has remained largely unaddressed in both courts and legislatures with respect to longer term suspension/expulsion/truancy proceedings. This Appendix briefly addresses some of the concerns mentioned about providing counsel in education cases.

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