Attorneys for Gov. Rick Snyder say there's no fundamental right to literacy for Detroit schoolchildren who are suing Michigan over the quality of their education.

The Detroit News reports assistant attorney general Timothy J. Haynes asked a federal judge to dismiss the case in a motion filed last week in U.S. District Court in Detroit. He says the U.S. Supreme Court and Michigan courts recognize the importance of literacy, but reject claims that it's a legal right.

Seven children filed the lawsuit in September, saying decades of state disinvestment and deliberate indifference to Detroit's schools have denied them access to literacy.

The plaintiffs say the schools have deplorable building conditions, lack of books, classrooms without teachers, insufficient desks, buildings plagued by vermin, unsafe facilities and extreme temperatures.

Haynes says these claims go far beyond mere access to education.