In a new piece out today, the CBC Editorial Board called for votes on House Bills 1129 and 1130, House Democrats’ legislation to address court-ordered education reforms as part of the ongoing Leandro case.
The board also criticized House Speaker Tim Moore for looking to let the bills “languish” and questioned the General Assembly’s commitment to fulfilling its constitutional responsibility to adequately fund public schools in the state.
“Every legislator seeking re-election needs to be on the record – by how they cast their vote – as to where they stand,” the board wrote. “Do they support the rights granted by our State Constitution and will they work to make sure they are not denied? Will they stand up and be counted as supporting the courts’ Leandro decision and implementation? Or are they making excuses?”
The Leandro Action Plan, released earlier this year, outlined seven main areas of concern for North Carolina’s public schools, to which House Democrats have now responded with two critical pieces of legislation: HB 1129 and HB 1130.
- Last week the plaintiffs and defendants in the landmark Leandro case filed their action plan to implement the court’s order to provide a “sound basic education for all.”
- Legislation has been introduced (House Bill 1129 and House Bill 1130) that largely implements the recommendations in the report filed last week. House Speaker Tim Moore immediately sent the bills to the House Rules Committee – a first step that is usually a form of banishment for legislation the leadership wants to languish. More than 160 of the 192 bills pending in the committee have been there since last year – the oldest going back to St. Valentine’s Day 2019.
- These bills – and the state constitutional obligation they are aimed at fulfilling, deserve to be heard and voted upon. The legislature’s education and appropriations-education committees should hold hearings on these bills and the court-approved Leandro plan.
- North Carolinians deserve to hear about the right of their children to receive a quality education. They need to know what needs to be done to accomplish it.
Most significantly, they deserve to have their legislators held accountable for either delivering on our Constitution’s promise or deny it.