Judge Howard Manning just wrapped up the first day of a hearing on the effects of next year's budget cuts on education in North Carolina. One witness after another took the stand to say the cuts will do lasting damage to schools and the students that rely on them - especially those in low-wealth counties that don't have local money to fall back on.
Manning is trying to ascertain whether the budget cuts will violate Leandro, a state Supreme Court ruling that holds the state responsible for ensuring low-income students have the same access as wealthier students to a "sound, basic education" under the state constitution.
House Speaker Thom Tillis issued the following statement in response to today's proceedings:
On the stand today, Cumberland County Associate Superintendent Ricky Lopes testified his district has had to cut more than 100 teaching assistant positions as a direct result of the state budget.
The hearing resumes at 10am Thursday. We'll be livestreaming it here at WRAL.com. You can find today's archived video here.