Appeal means $1.7 billion Leandro transfer could end up at N.C. Supreme Court | Beaufort County Now | A Democrat-controlled N.C. Supreme Court could end up deciding the constitutionality of a $1.7-billion transfer ordered by the presiding judge in the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is David Bass.

Judge David Lee presides over the Leandro court case on Jan. 21, 2020. Image courtesy of EducationNC


    A Democrat-controlled N.C. Supreme Court could end up deciding the constitutionality of a $1.7-billion transfer ordered by the presiding judge in the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit.

    That outcome could be in the cards after plaintiffs in the case filed an appeal Dec. 15 challenging a Court of Appeals that blocked enforcement of the order by State Superior Court Judge David Lee.

    The action by Lee set off a constitutional firestorm in November when the retired Union County judge ordered the transfer from the state's coffers. By letter of the state constitution, only the General Assembly has the power to appropriate funds.

    "The children of North Carolina have waited long enough for the vindication of their constitutional right to the opportunity for a sound basic education and deserve no less," Melanie Dubis, an attorney for the plaintiffs, in the appeal.

    The state Supreme Court is controlled by a 4-3 Democratic majority, meaning a ruling on the constitutionality of the $1.7 billion could touch off fresh tensions between the judiciary and the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

    For their part, GOP legislative leaders have filed their own intervention in the case. Last week, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, filed paperwork arguing that Lee's order "contravenes the doctrine of Separation of Powers reflected in Article I, Section 6 of the State Constitution."

    "The makeup of the N.C. Supreme Court appears to favor the Leandro parties, so this appeal is not surprising," said Dr. Terry Stoops, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation. "The Leandro parties and the education establishment do not care that a favorable ruling from their political allies on the state Supreme Court would subvert our state's constitutional order. They only care about increasing the flow of taxpayer money to a public school system already flush with cash."

    The Leandro lawsuit dates to 1994, when five rural school districts sued the state over education funding. The state Supreme Court has ruled twice since then - in 1997 and again in 2004 - that the state has a constitutional obligation to provide a "sound, basic education" to all students.

    The budget for the new biennium - passed by a bipartisan majority of the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper - funds several key parts of the Leandro plan but stops well short of bankrolling every line item.
Go Back

HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Canadian Truckers for Freedom inspire similar convoys in Europe, Australia, US
President Joe Biden faced backlash on Thursday after he announced that he would replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer with someone in-part based on their race and their sex.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the following bill: House Bill 605
MSNBC anchor Kendis Gibson is leaving the far-left network for a local news station, CBS’ Miami station, because he no longer wanted to be part of a “hyper-partisan” news environment.
Join John Woodard and Sandy Smith as they talk about American Rights
The N.C. Supreme Court has agreed to extend oral arguments in next week’s redistricting case by 50%.

HbAD1

Former President Donald Trump dismissed claims during an interview on Thursday night that there was a conflict between him and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
State Treasurer Dale Folwell is once again sounding the alarm on some nonprofit hospitals in the state, with a new report that shows low-income patients are being billed when they were eligible for charity care.
A popular female thriller author in Spain who has been lauded for her feminism recently won a prestigious award for her latest novel. During the award ceremony, “she” turned out to be three male television scriptwriters.
On January 18, 2021, the Golden LEAF Foundation welcomed Erica L. Smith as Golden LEAF’s next Controller, following the retirement announcement of long-time Controller, Beth Edmondson.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) reportedly had federal agents show up to his home on Wednesday and seize items as part of an ongoing investigation.
The CIA claims that hundreds of cases of so-called “Havana Syndrome,” a set of neurological conditions long believed to be the result of an attack from a directed-energy weapon, are not the result of any kind of attack from a foreign power.
Beaufort County's Budgeting process begins with the Great and Annual Beaufort County Commissioner Retreat, where the Commissioners are told and shown and tasked to acknowledge just how much of the public's money is necessary to keep their government afloat.

HbAD2

 
Back to Top