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Leandro is a decades-long court case in North Carolina. It began in 1994 when five counties sued the state and the State Board of Education. They argued that their students were not receiving a sufficient education.

In response, North Carolina’s Supreme Court found that every child has a state constitutional right to a sound, basic education.

In 2004, the same court held that at-risk students, including those needing pre-K, had been denied the right to a sound basic education. In 2016, Judge David Lee was assigned to the case when Judge Howard Manning stepped down after 19 years.

In 2017, Gov. Roy Cooper created a commission to address the issue. In 2018, the court appointed WestEd to recommend specific actions needed by the state to comply with Leandro. WestEd released its report one year later, detailing the problem and recommending various solutions.

Now, the judge has ordered both sides of the case to present a short-term plan for the state, with more in-depth plans to follow.


Sound Basic Education for All: An Action Plan for North Carolina (WestEd Report)

Executive Summary of WestEd’s Report

WestEd’s supporting reports:

Supplement to the Investment Overview and Sequenced Action Plan in the WestEd Report

Judge David Lee’s consent order

Draft priorities from the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education


Leandro | School turnaround is vital to educating all kids. How does it happen?

The Boston Thurmond neighborhood, located a couple of blocks north of downtown Winston-Salem, is a predominantly black community and one...


Leandro | Here are the key ways North Carolina could boost learning in early childhood

An early childhood teacher is asking her 4-year-old Chapel Hill students, in Spanish, how many plates they need at their...


Leandro | School accountability through the eyes of one rural elementary school

Share your voice with us The educators at G.W. Carver Elementary School in Edgecombe County have a lot to be...


Leandro | How can North Carolina better serve kids? It starts with the funding formula.

“¿Cómo estás?” I heard as I entered a kindergarten class at Martin Millennium Academy. “Bien,” I responded, as the class...


Leandro | Effective educators: The key to student learning

Clayton High School is a big school, and it’s getting bigger. When Principal Bennett Jones started at the school in...


Public School Forum’s top issue of 2020: Leandro

Breaking with a long-standing tradition, the Public School Forum of North Carolina eschewed its traditional top 10 issues of the...


Everything you need to know about the Leandro litigation

North Carolina’s Leandro court case has been ongoing for more than 20 years. The case centers on the state’s constitutional...


Leandro judge invited to testify at legislature

Judge David Lee, who is presiding over the Leandro case, has been invited to testify in front of the Senate...


Behind one Leandro proposal: Making more children with special needs eligible for early services

Since 2014 budget cuts left the North Carolina Infant-Toddler program with 160 fewer employees, the reduced workforce is connecting more...


Video | What is Leandro?

North Carolina’s Leandro court case has been ongoing for more than 20 years. The case, which centers on the state’s...


Governor’s commission adopts its own Leandro recommendations

On Thursday, the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education unanimously voted to adopt its report — which is...


What 500+ education stakeholders said about WestEd’s Leandro report

On Dec. 10, 2019, WestEd, an independent consultant directed by Judge David Lee to recommend ways to meet the mandates...