September 10, 2021/Media, Press

ICYMI: NC Republicans’ Budget Proposal Demonstrates “Willful And Conscious Refusal And Neglect” Of Constitutional Public School Funding Requirements

State Superior Court Judge David Lee: “The initial proposed budgets I believe in both the Senate and the House are woefully short of what is necessary to fund the constitutionally mandated requirement.”

This week North Carolina Superior Court Judge David Lee said that he was “very disheartened” by the Republicans’ budget proposals which failed to fully fund a constitutionally backed plan for improving public education. Judge Lee has said that if the plan isn’t fully funded by October 18th he will entertain options for “how the court may exercise its remedial powers to remedy this Constitutional deficiency.

While the Constitutionally mandated plan calls for $690.7 million in new funding this year and $1.06 billion next year, the Republican House and Senate budgets fall woefully short. Republicans like to tout that their proposal increases K-12 education funding by 39% from a 2010 number. But after over a decade of chronically underfunding our public schools, this increase is a drop in the bucket of what is needed and what is required by the courts to propel our state forward.

“Republicans are ready to defy a court order so that they can continue to prioritize tax breaks for corporations instead of fulfilling their constitutional duty and adequately funding our public schools,” said NCDP spokesperson Rachel Stein.

Read more recent coverage surrounding Republicans’ failure to invest in public schools.

News and Observer: ‘Comply with the Constitution.’ Judge gives NC a deadline to increase school funding

Associated Press: Judge sets deadline for N. Carolina to boost school funding

NC Policy Watch: Judge gives state lawmakers ‘one more last chance’ to fully fund the Leandro plan

WRAL: Editorial: Legislators need to implement, not deflect, Leandro judge’s order