Judges Will Hear Motion In NC Education Authority Lawsuit

Judges Will Hear Motion In NC Education Authority Lawsuit

4:03pm Sep 13, 2017
A court decision could help clarify the lines of authority over the administration and supervision of North Carolina's Public Schools. Keri Brown/WFDD

A three-judge panel is holding a hearing Thursday in the case of a power struggle between North Carolina’s superintendent and the State Board of Education.

Legal experts say the final outcome of the case will help clarify who’s really in charge of North Carolina’s public schools.

It all began after the GOP controlled legislature passed a law last year that shifts some authority from the state school board to Republican superintendent Mark Johnson.

That includes more control over the state's education budget and oversight of charter schools. It also allows him to hire senior-level aides.

The board, currently dominated by Republicans, filed a lawsuit saying the shift violates the state constitution.

In July, the court sided with Johnson and the General Assembly over control of the department.

The Board of Education has filed an appeal. It’s asking the court to stay or put on hold the ruling, while the case moves through the appellate process. The motion will be heard in Raleigh on Thursday morning.

This isn’t the first time there’s been a conflict between the state’s education chief and the state school board.

In 2009, former Superintendent June Atkinson, a Democrat, sued Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and the board. That struggle was over an appointment the governor made for a high-level education position.

A Superior Court ruled in favor of Atkinson.  Perdue did not appeal.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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