Editorial: Legislators' budget must fully implement Leandro plan for education equity
Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 -- Full implementation of the consensus Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan should NOT be a bone of contention between the legislative leadership and the governor in the state budget bill they send him. It is not a question of money. It is not a question of research or soundness of approach. The question for our legislative leadership is a basic and simple one of will.Posted — Updated
The message to North Carolina General Assembly’s leaders cannot be clearer – coming from a Superior Court Judge; the plaintiffs including six local school boards and 14 parents; the defendants including the state of North Carolina and the State Board of Education.
The question for our legislative leadership is a basic and simple one of will. Are they determined to unequivocally stand up for public school students and parents, public school teachers and staff and the Constitution of North Carolina? Will they do what it takes?
Selectively picking data, as our legislative leaders habitually do, paints a phony portrait of their backing of public schools and progress they’re making on fulfilling the constitutional mandate.
North Carolina per-student spending is about $3,000 LESS than the national average.
If Berger and Moore aren’t happy with the achievement and attainment in our public schools, and they refuse to adopt the consensus Leandro remedial plan, they are obligated to detail what they would do to meet the state’s constitutional mandate.
After all, these are the same folks demanding adherence to the state’s constitutional requirement to present photo identification to vote. Why aren’t they displaying the same fervor over meeting the Constitution’s public education mandate?
Put it to a vote. See where the people stand. We have a strong hunch the message would be pretty loud and pretty clear – and it would not support the legislature’s status quo.
Making this a debate about separation of powers, as the legislative leaders seek to do, is merely deflecting away from talking about the central issue – support for North Carolina’s public schools.
Adoption of the Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan is about providing EVERY child with access to a quality education. We believe it is a good and sound program.
That is what the debate MUST be about. If Berger and Moore don’t like the consensus plan (they should, by the way) don’t hide it in a fight over the state budget. Tell us, what is your plan?
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