The Leandro case was brought to the courts in 1994 by families from five school districts suing the state for failing to meet their constitutional obligations (a sound and basic education for every child). In 2004, the NC Supreme Court confirmed what had been found in 1994, that “an inordinate number of students had failed to obtain a sound basic education and that the State had failed in [its] constitutional duty”. The case was again brought to the courts in 2018 and the courts stated that “the evidence before this court…is wholly inadequate to demonstrate…substantial compliance with the constitutional mandate”. The court then ordered an independent study, assigned to WestEd, to create a report for NC on how they could meet their constitutional obligations for all students’ rights to a sound, basic education. The courts stated, “WestEd concluded, and this Court found, that considerable systematic work is still required to deliver fully the Leandro right to all children in our State”.
Why is this an urgent issue? It is apparent that underfunding our schools for such a long period of time is impacting not only individual students, but our state economy, our ability to fill jobs with viable candidates, and the opportunity to entice corporations to our state when we lack an adequate number of highly educated workers with 21st century skills.
Here are some resources to help you navigate and follow the latest Leandro case results.
–WestEd Report – steps to bring NC into compliance.
-Judge Lee’s June 7, 2021 Order on Comprehensive Remedial Plan
–Fact sheet on the Leandro Case by Public Schools First