Leandro vs. State of NC: Access to a Sound, Basic Education
Leandro is a long-running court case in North Carolina, in which the plaintiffs — five NC school districts — argued that students in their districts were not getting access to adequate education because of a lack of resources. Judge Howard Manning agreed, ruling that the state has a constitutional mandate to provide every North Carolina child with a sound, basic education. Twenty-five years later, the parties to the lawsuit are working on a settlement. This video from EdNC goes over the basics in just over one minute.
Key Leandro Documents
- Sound, Basic Education for All: An Action Plan for North Carolina – Report produced by WestEd, the independent consultant appointed by the court to assess the state’s current compliance with the Leandro rulings and make recommendations of specific actions the state should take to achieve compliance with the constitutional mandates of the rulings. Released publicly in December 2019.
- Governor’s Commission for a Sound, Basic Education Recommendations – Recommendations created through the Executive Branch, with input from a range of stakeholders via a subcommittee process. Final subcommittee recommendations were approved by the full Commission in January 2020 and include:
- Consent Order, released in January 2020 after receipt of the WestEd report – Outlines the history of Leandro, summarizes the WestEd report findings, and orders the defendants (the State of NC and the State Board of Education) to create a plan of action to implement the recommendations, including a status report in 60 days (by the end of March 2020).
- An Action Plan for 2021 was approved by Judge David Lee in September 2020 as a first step in what will eventually be an eight-year implementation of the state’s mandate to provide a sound, basic education to every child. The plan would invest $427 million in birth through higher education. The NC General Assembly will decide whether to allocate the funds.
Leandro Resources – For More Information
- Governor’s Commission for a Sound, Basic Education webpage includes all meeting minutes, relevant documents and presentations. Click here for presentations on the WestEd recommendations and the Governor’s Commission recommendations. See also these presentations outlining the similarities and differences between the two sets of recommendations:
- EdNC’s reporting, curated on their Leandro page
- The NC Public School Forum’s Leandro page
- NCECF’s blog posts:
- Leandro Moves Forward with Release of Comprehensive Plan for Next Eight Years, Including Significant Investments in Early Childhood (March 2021)
- Leandro Action Plan approved by judge calls on NC Legislature to appropriate funds, including for early childhood (Sept 2020)
- What’s in the recent Leandro consent order? (Jan 2020)
- What does the Leandro report propose for early childhood? (Dec 2019)
- Early childhood councils, commissions align with Pathways, lead with equity (Nov 2019)
- Pathways Actions included in Governor’s Leandro Commission draft priorities (June 2019)
- NCECF presentation to the Governor’s Commission (June 2018)
- Early learning is part of a ‘sound, basic education’ (Feb 2017)