RALEIGH (November 4, 2022) – The North Carolina Justice Center applauds the North Carolina Supreme Court’s landmark decision to, at long last, uphold our children’s rights as enshrined in the North Carolina Constitution. These rights are firmly established by multiple, unanimous decisions of the Court, finding an ongoing violation of students’ right to attend schools that provide meaningful educational opportunities. In the decades since the original Leandro ruling, the Court has given extreme deference and time to the General Assembly to remedy this violation. Still, the legislative branch has failed even to develop, much less fund and implement, a plan to provide all children with the opportunity to receive a “sound basic” education.
“Finally, after decades of prolonged litigation, the fundamental constitutional right of the children of North Carolina to receive a sound basic education and the vital resources necessary to give that right meaning is given life, enshrined and ensured,” said North Carolina Justice Center Executive Director Rick Glazier.
“This is the most important civil rights decision issued by the Supreme Court in decades and one which will benefit generations of North Carolina children to come.”
While we celebrate the Court’s historic decision, we understand that this ruling deals primarily with years two and three of the eight-year Comprehensive Remedial Plan developed by parties at the trial court. Plaintiffs, defendants, and education advocates across the state agree that full implementation of the Plan is essential to fully deliver students the quality of education they’re owed.
We encourage the Court to ensure the entire Plan is implemented in the coming years. There is still much more work to be done to meet the standard set forth in our state’s Constitution and finally provide children with the educational opportunities to which they are constitutionally entitled. We will continue to work with our partners and advocates across the state, including the Every Child NC coalition, to ensure these rights are upheld.