Source: Editorial Board
In a decades-long effort to get North Carolina officials to fulfill the state Constitution’s requirement that every child must have access to a quality education, another judge has found that the state still falls short on investing in students.
According to a court order, North Carolina still owes its public schools millions of dollars toward education spending, and the newly passed state budget falls short in funding a plan to resolve the 28+ year-long Leandro education case.
However, the Republican judge cut the amount lawmakers needed to meet the state’s education inequities down to half of a previous judicial order and doesn’t say how the state should fund the newly reduced order.
According to the Associated Press, the ruling made by Special Superior Court Judge Mike Robinson is a setback for school districts and parents of students who are plaintiffs in decades-long litigation over school funding.
Historically, the Republican-led legislature has a track record of Republican leaders pushing back against funding education in accordance with the Leandro remedial plan. The remedial plan calls for education spending that makes investments in North Carolina’s early childhood infrastructure, higher educator and support staff pay, resources, and more.
The original cost for the remedial plan, which the state can readily cover the first two years, was put aside in Judge Robinson’s decision – putting into question what gaps the reduced investment will cause.