Historic investments in public schools are needed now
Ahead of the court ordered deadline, House Democrats and education advocates urged leaders of the Republican-controlled General Assembly to implement the Leandro plan for improving public education into the final state budget.
With budget negotiations continuing, Republicans have another opportunity to meet the state’s constitutional obligation in ensuring every child has access to a sound, basic education.
- Since 1997, as determined by the state Supreme Court and reaffirmed in 2004, North Carolina has failed and continues to deny students across the state from the opportunity to receive a sound basic education, as promised in our state’s constitution.
- The Leandro Comprehensive Remedial plan provides a blueprint on how the state can undo its 27+ year failure by fully funding early childhood education, helping lower childcare cost, providing high-quality teachers and support staff, just to name a few.
- “This goes beyond politics. This is about meeting our Constitutional obligation,” said Jenice Ramirez, executive director of ISLA NC. “It is not a menu of options. It lays out the roadmap NC must follow to ensure every child has their needs met.”
For too long, schools across the state — especially in rural counties — have lacked the resources necessary to ensure students have equal opportunities to have a quality education. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve witnessed time and again the long-term effects of neglect, as schools are heavily under-resourced and understaffed.
As Rep. Julie von Haefen stated, “Investing in the Leandro plan would mean investing in North Carolina children from birth to career, which is in turn an investment in our state’s future and in our economy. We all want to see North Carolina’s children be cared for, be educated, and be provided a sound foundation for their futures.”
With an unprecedented abundance of resources, provided by the state’s surplus and federal funding, North Carolina is ready to take the right step in fulfilling its obligation to students and make investments into our state’s future. The question now is whether our Republican leaders are ready to take responsibility and do what’s best for our state.