sound basic education


The frightening implications of the latest Leandro school funding lawsuit do-over

BY: - October 31, 2023

Imagine the following scenario: In a fit of misguided “get tough on crime” paranoia, state lawmakers enact a broad-based scheme to “stop coddling criminals.” Topping their list of priorities is a plan to make state prisons – which a popular conservative commentator has derided as “country clubs” – vastly tougher by cutting corrections funding by […]


Supreme Court’s Leandro ruling restores a sense of hope to NC’s public education system

BY: - November 8, 2022

On Saturday morning, my 17-year-old son asked me how it felt to wake up knowing the Leandro decision that was made the day before. I paused as I recognized that this high school junior understood how important the Supreme Court’s ruling in this nearly 30-year-old school funding case was for children across our state. As […]

students looking at their laptops

Successful public schools: More than just providers of a sound basic education

BY: - August 30, 2022

What is the purpose of a public school system? Twenty-five years ago, in its landmark Leandro ruling, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that the purpose was, at a minimum, to provide every child in this state with the opportunity to obtain a “sound basic education.”  This week, the court will hear a new round of arguments (and presumably, attempt to fashion a permanent solution) in that same, seemingly never-ending case.


Who decides on ‘sound basic’ spending? Stay tuned

BY: - August 16, 2022

Like it or not – and there are plenty of reasons to worry amid the familiar end-of-summer bursts of excitement – another school year will soon get under way. The pressures on our public schools are immense as kids’ setbacks during the pandemic come into focus, as teacher vacancies spike, and as the schools become […]

Running in place

BY: - October 25, 2021

Monday Numbers: A closer look at deadline day for the Leandro public schools mandate

BY: - October 18, 2021

It’s now been nearly a quarter-century since the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Leandro lawsuit that state leaders were violating the constitutional rights of thousands of schoolchildren – particularly in the state’s poorest counties – by failing to provide them with access to a sound basic education.


NC schoolchildren deserve better than childish excuses

BY: - October 1, 2021

“You can’t make me.” All of us have heard this taunt at some point during our childhood. “You can’t make me” says so much in four short words. It says, “I have the power, not you.” It says, “your interests are far less important than mine.” It’s a statement that’s selfish and demeans the less powerful.

Push to comply with Leandro mandate for state’s schools gains momentum

BY: - September 29, 2021

Showdown with resistant General Assembly looms as gubernatorial commission urges implementation of court-approved plan Flush with cash, the state of North Carolina owes its children “nothing less” than a fully funded Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan, the Governor's Commission on Access to a Sound Basic Education unanimously agreed Tuesday.


As judicial-legislative collision looms, path forward in providing NC students with a constitutional education is clear

BY: - September 13, 2021

A momentous clash between North Carolina’s General Assembly and the state’s judicial system looks to be coming to a head. At stake is the ability of the state’s public schools to meet the needs of all students – specifically, those students who live in communities where the proper financing of schools can be an overwhelming challenge.

Democrats challenge education spending, substantive law changes as House GOP rolls out proposed budget

BY: - August 11, 2021

House Democrats during a committee meeting Tuesday questioned the lack of full funding for programs needed to comply with a consent order in the long-running court case on public education.   The questions arose as the House budget committee went through details of the $25.7 billion proposal unveiled by the body's Republican majority. More debate is expected Wednesday and Thursday before the House votes on the plan.

After nearly a quarter-century, will NC courts finally order lawmakers to comply with education mandate?

BY: - July 7, 2021

Despite 1997 Leandro ruling, many NC K-12 students are not receiving the "sound basic education" the constitution guarantees them If North Carolina lawmakers want to see what could happen if they don’t comply with a court order to adequately fund public schools, they can look to the state of Washington.

a desk in a classroom with books and an apple on it

No more excuses for lawmakers when it comes to public schools

BY: - July 1, 2021

Veteran civil rights attorney explains why the General Assembly must comply with a court order to adequately fund public education Recently, state Superior Court Judge David Lee issued the latest order in the Leandro v. State lawsuit. The judge directed the state to remedy the longstanding violation of the constitutional right of North Carolina public school children to a “sound basic education” ...