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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


Perspective | Education Matters — Leandro: Moving from planning to action

Judge David Lee’s consent order of January 21, 2020 directed the state defendants (State Board of Education, governor, and DOJ...


Perspective | School funding ruling could spark constitutional and fiscal crisis

The following was a John Locke Foundation online event held on Monday, June 22. With a North Carolina court ruling...


Perspective | WestEd’s Leandro report: The Missing Pages

How is it even possible to describe the current situation in North Carolina’s public schools and propose remedies for the...


State Superintendent candidates sound off on Leandro

In a recent survey, EducationNC asked teachers what questions they had for the two candidates for state superintendent of public...


New Leandro coalition seeks to ensure every child receives a quality public education

Just days after the release of a Leandro action plan for 2021, a new education coalition has been unveiled. Communities...


Perspective | Now is the time to ensure a sound, basic education for all students

Protests continue. Throughout the country and in North Carolina, people are calling for change — systemic change to end racism and...


Leandro action plan for next year: How will the state ensure a sound basic education for all?

The fiscal year 2021 action plan in the Leandro case was filed yesterday, setting the stage for the state to...


Perspective | The state must act now to harness opportunity COVID-19 presents

COVID-19 brought tremendous hardship to North Carolina, but it also presents our state with an opportunity to address persistent inequalities....


Perspective | North Carolina’s two education crises

North Carolina is facing two crises in its pre-K-12 education system, one immediate and one long-term, each deepening the challenges...


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...