NC Supreme Court to hear lawsuit over control of public schools

RALEIGH – The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear a court case to decide who should have control over North Carolina’s public schools.

The State Board of Education is appealing a lower court ruling in July that upheld a state law that shifts more control over public education operations to State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson. In an order released Friday, the N.C. Supreme Court agreed to the state board’s request to bypass the state Court of Appeals to hear the case now.

In October, the Supreme Court put the ruling on hold until appeals are finished. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin has recused himself from the case.

Last December, state lawmakers passed a law that shifts some of the powers of the state board to Johnson, including control of high-level hiring and spending at the Department of Public Instruction. In its lawsuit, the board said the legislature was trying to take away responsibilities conferred by the state constitution.

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