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Amid Calls To Fund Public Education, Landmark Leandro Case Heads Back To State Supreme Court

Source: The Pulse

The landmark decades-old education case landed before the North Carolina Supreme Court last Wednesday, with renewed demands toward the state adequately funding public schools.

For the fourth time in 28 years, the high court heard oral arguments, as the state has failed to ensure children across the state receive their constitutional right to a sound, basic education. In order for the state to meet this obligation, the Leandro Remedial Plan must be fully funded.

Leading up to the case, communities, and education leaders rallied in downtown Raleigh in an effort to urge the state Supreme Court to order the transfer of $785 million from the state treasury to fund the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial plan.

“It is time to release the funds,” stated Tamika Walker Kelly, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators. “Our children need action now. We must not lose any more time — another generation of students — before we do what is right by them.”

The funding in question puts a price tag on the long-term neglect public schools have undergone due to underfunding. Years of state Republican leadership have caused education funding to dwindle, as increasing teacher pay and investments towards public education have fallen to the wayside. 

Fully funding Leandro would address many of these long-standing issues by significantly improving access to educational programs and services, increasing access to early learning opportunities, as well as supports like home visiting, child care subsidies, and salary supplement programs for early educators, according to EdNC.

Education leaders, educators, and local groups have continued to beat the drum surrounding the impact of long-term neglect, lackluster state budgets and the need for state Republicans to properly invest in education as designated by the state constitution. 

“The only barrier to that money are the legislators,” stated Walker Kelly. “It is doing more than raining. The schools are drowning.”

The renewed oral arguments that happened on Aug. 31 are just the latest in the education case. 

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