Judge will consider whether N.C. should turn over $1.7B in public school funding

Judge will consider whether N.C. should turn over $1.7B in public school funding

10:54am Nov 09, 2021
KERI BROWN/WFDD

A North Carolina judge is considering whether to order the state to hand over almost $2 billion in public school funding. 

The Leandro school funding court battle dates back to 1994 when five low-wealth districts filed a lawsuit against the state requesting more funding for equal education in public schools.  Now the plaintiffs have asked State Superior Court Judge David Lee to order state officials to relinquish $1.7 billion over the next two years as part of a new education budget plan.

The News & Observer reports that Lee has scheduled a court hearing to consider the proposal on Wednesday. 

State GOP officials released a statement saying an order by Lee to transfer the funds would be unconstitutional, and that any appropriation would need legislative approval. They are also questioning ties between Governor Roy Cooper’s administration and a consulting firm hired to recommend a spending plan.

The plaintiffs have argued that the state Constitution allows for judicial action if legislative branches fail to carry out their constitutional obligation. 

In September, Judge Lee told lawmakers he would intervene if a funding proposal was not submitted by mid-October.

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