Judge getting update on NC school funding equity plan

Published 1:08 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

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RALEIGH (AP) — A North Carolina judge wants an update on why a funding roadmap he’s endorsed that’s designed to reduce public education inequities among students hasn’t been carried out so far.

Superior Court Judge David Lee scheduled a court hearing for Monday in the long-running “Leandro” school funding case. He’s said that the legislature and Gov. Roy Cooper should fully fund the remedial spending plan, in particular by earmarking $1.7 billion for it through mid-2023.

Lee wrote last month that he was prepared to issue “judicial remedies” if he didn’t see concrete action by Monday. But Republican lawmakers and the Democratic governor are still in state budget talks that include K-12 spending. House Democratic leader Robert Reives suggested last week it’s possible judicial action is delayed since budget negotiations are ongoing.

GOP lawmakers have bristled at arguments that Lee can force the General Assembly to spend certain levels of money.