In July and August, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed three appellate briefs on behalf of the plaintiff-intervenors.
RALEIGH–Today, the North Carolina Supreme Court will hear a longstanding school funding equity case, commonly known as Leandro v. North Carolina, that will determine the future of equitable public education in the state. The lawsuit, which was filed in 1994, claimed that North Carolina school districts lacked sufficient funds to provide an adequate education.
The plaintiff-intervenors–which includes families, and schoolchildren members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Branch of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP–are urging the court to reaffirm the trial court’s November Order. The order mandates the transfer of the necessary funds to complete a comprehensive remedial plan presented to the court last year. This plan, which was proposed by the Governor based on a series of studies conducted by educational experts, would ensure all children in North Carolina have access to an equitable public education by funding teacher and principal pipelines, the NC Pre-K program-Smart Start, additional funding for at-risk student programs, and more. Students of color will be among the most impacted by the court’s ruling.
Plaintiff-intervenors are represented by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Ballard Spahr, and Patterson Harkavay LLP.
“For over twenty years, the plaintiffs in this case have repeatedly demonstrated that North Carolina has been violating its students’ constitutional right to a basic education,” said David Hinojosa, Director of the Education Opportunities Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “We’re confident that the Supreme Court finally takes the necessary steps to remedy this unacceptable negligence. North Carolina’s children, especially those in low-income communities of color, deserve access to an education system that sets them up for success for the rest of their lives.”
Tomorrow at 9am, advocates and plaintiffs will hold a press conference at the courthouse ahead of the hearing. Oral argument will be livestreamed herebeginning at 9:30am. At 12pm, David Hinojosa and Rev. Corine Mack will debrief the case, which participants can watch via this Zoom link.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org