N.C. Senate Budget codifies the Leandro case

Credit: Gerry Dincher

Credit: Gerry Dincher

RALEIGH, NC – The budget that will be debated on the N.C. Senate floor this morning will codify into law the Leandro decision that said all N.C. students have a constitutional right to a “sound basic education.”

The budget language requires local school districts to present a concrete improvement plan for each of their schools that rate a D or an F in the new school performance grading system rolled out in February.  The requirement does not come with money attached and Senate leadership points out that schools with a lot of resources are on the failing list as well as schools with few resources.

“We feel money is adequate, we think it’s the leadership is some of those LEAs (Local Education Authorities) that is the problem,” said Majority Leader Harry Brown in a press conference earlier this week.

The Leandro case gained national attention in 1997 when the N.C. Supreme Court sided with a group of low-income families who sued the state saying that their school was not provided proper funding to ensure a basic education.  The case has been the foundation for education reform efforts ever since.