Two decades later, Governor’s appointees look to breathe life into NC’s landmark school funding ruling

“By every objective measure, we are underfunded and we are failing.”

That’s how Larry Armstrong, longtime attorney for the Halifax County Board of Education, summed up the task before Gov. Roy Cooper’s Commission on Access to Sound, Basic Education Thursday—more than two decades after the pivotal Leandro Supreme Court decision rebuked the state for school funding inequalities in some of North Carolina’s poorest counties like Halifax.

Armstrong, along with many members of Cooper’s panel of business, K-12, higher education and charity leaders, said, that despite that 1997 ruling, North Carolina continues to fail students in poor and struggling districts.

Armstrong addressed the 19-member panel during its first meeting Thursday, which comes weeks before a judge is expected to field recommendations for an independent consultant that will determine what state officials must do to bring North Carolina in compliance with Leandro’s mandate of a “sound, basic education” to all, regardless of a student’s local school district.

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One Comment

  1. Joseph Peel 01/05/2018 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Can’t believe it has been two decades. Money was and still is a big issue in resolving this situation but the issue is very complex and won’t be solved by money alone. We still have too many educators who don’t think poor students can learn and we have not taught our teachers how to teach poor students how to read and do math. We have also not learned how to create school environments that engage these students and their families in the learning process. In addition business leaders have been little help in many communities communicating the need of our children receiving a quality education to their employees or the general public. After all the parents of these children work in the community.

    The worst thing that could happen is that educators get more money, forget the systemic nature of the issue and fail to produce better results. It might well be the last straw.

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