According to the News & Observer, the Leandro court case is alive and well.
Signaling a new era in a long-running public school lawsuit, the two sides in the landmark Leandro case on Monday requested an independent consultant to suggest additional steps to the state to improve education for all children in North Carolina.
The announcement of a joint court motion came on the 20th anniversary of the state Supreme Court’s first ruling in the case, when it declared that the State Constitution guarantees every child “an opportunity to receive a sound basic education.”
Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, who oversaw the case for years before his retirement, refused to do so. Manning believed that the focus should be on the effectiveness of the expenditures themselves, rather than on the amount of taxpayer money allocated to schools. The “independent consultant” and appointees to Governor Cooper’s new Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education may try to convince the court to abandon Manning’s focus (and the separation of powers) and order the legislature to fund public education at a prescribed level. That threat alone may convince lawmakers that they should advance a plan that would satisfy the requirements of the N.C. Supreme Court decision and subsequent court orders and put the case to rest.