N.C. Supreme Court will re-hear Leandro case

Feb 9, 2024 | Education, News, Statements

The Leandro case was first filed in 1994 and will be heard again by the highest court of our state on February 22, 2024, following a shift in legislative majority from Democratic to Republican. The case was originally filed by residents of several low-income counties across the state, who accused the legislature at that time of under-funding their public schools. Over the past 30 years, it has been reaffirmed several times that every student in the state has the constitutional right to receive a sound and adequate education. However, our legislature has failed to ensure that this right has been upheld.

Fast forward to the spring of 2023, the new Republican majority court decided to rehear the case, which was an unusual decision. This hearing will determine whether the state court system has the authority to take action to address the shortcomings in the education system.

“Quality education shouldn’t be a privilege for the wealthy — it’s our fundamental right, said Marcus Bass, deputy director for the North Carolina Black Alliance. “Underfunding schools fuels inequality and stifles potential. This court case on February 22 isn’t just about legal technicalities — it’s about fulfilling our moral obligation to every child in North Carolina. Politicians who shortchange public education are shortchanging our future. We demand they prioritize the fundamental right to quality education, not private interests, said Bass.

The future of our communities depends on the quality of our state’s public education system. Investing in quality education means investing in the growth and well-being of our state, creating opportunities for success in career, college, and life. Unfortunately, some elected officials prioritize funneling money away from our public education system to support private school vouchers for high-income families or to provide tax cuts for large corporations. This deprives our most vulnerable communities of the resources and hands-on support they need to ensure every student receives a quality education.

Every student in North Carolina has a fundamental and constitutional right to receive a quality education, regardless of their background. However, this can only be made possible when our public education system is fully funded, and every student in the state has an opportunity to reach their full potential.

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