EVERY CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO A SOUND BASIC EDUCATION
(Leandro v. State of North Carolina, 346 N.C. 336 (1997)
LEANDRO V STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, 1997, 2004
Research found, that students in high-poverty schools and districts are far less likely to receive a sound basic education than those in wealthier and better resourced schools. During the course of the 25 year old school funding case known as Leandro, the North Carolina Supreme Court has made clear that it is the state that bears responsibility for fulfilling the constitutional obligation to guard and maintain the right of every North Carolina child to receive a “sound basic education.”
WHAT IS LEANDRO V STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA?
The Leandro case started in 1994, when school districts in five low-wealth North Carolina counties and families sued the state, claiming that children were not receiving the same level of educational opportunities as students in higher-income counties. the North Carolina Supreme Court has repeatedly acknowledged these educational inequities and ruled that it is the state's responsibility for fulfilling the constitutional obligation to guard and maintain the right of every North Carolina child to receive a “sound basic education.” (Leandro v. State of North Carolina, 346 N.C. 336 (1997).)
WHAT IS THE LEANDRO PLAN?
On March 15, 2021, the comprehensive remedial plan in the long-running Leandro court case was submitted to the Superior Court. This is the plan that is intended to address how North Carolina can meet its obligation to provide the opportunity for a sound, basic education to all students in the state.
November 5, 2022 - The NC Supreme Court upheld the Nov 2021 ruling requiring the state to fund the Leandro Plan and ruling that officials can be ordered to transfer funds, meeting their own constitutional obligations.
WHY IS LEANDRO CASE SO SIGNIFICANT TO NC PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
The Leandro case affirmed that inequitable and inadequate school funding bars access to a sound, basic public education, particularly for students of color and those from families with low incomes. The NC Supreme Court allowed the case to go to trial in 1997.
WHat's the history of the leandro case?
WHAT DOES LEANDRO PLAN DO FOR OUR CHILDREN?
In 2018, Judge David Lee, ordered WestEd, an independent educational consultant to analyze North Carolina’s school funding history, outcomes and structure and recommend ways for the state to comply with the Leandro rulings. The report focuses on eight critical needs:
Finance + resource allocation
A qualified + well-prepared teacher in every classroom
A qualified + well-prepared principal in every school
Early childhood education
State assessment system + school accountability system
Regional + statewide supports for school improvement
Finance + resource allocation
In late 2023, the NC State Supreme Court (now controlled by Republican jurists), agreed to rehear the Leandro case, at the behest of the Republican-controlled state legislature. Read more about this new development here.
A joint statement, issued by Every Child NC Coalition and A4E can be found here.
In response, Action4Equity and statewide partners are issuing a call to action.
The hearing is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, February 22, and we need everyone who cares about the future of public schools to join us in Raleigh for a DAY OF ACTION that will include a rally, march, and press conference in front of the State Supreme Court building.
Since its founding in 2018, Action4Equity has been organizing local support for Leandro, and A4E encourages all to show up in full force on February 22.
Please select the button below if you plan to attend.
Transportation will be available for those who need it.