RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Longstanding education funding litigation in North Carolina could reach a watershed if a judge orders money be spent over the wishes of the General Assembly.
Superior Court Judge David Lee scheduled a hearing Wednesday in which he’ll consider options on how to carry out two years of a remedial spending plan offered by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the State Board of Education.
Plaintiffs in the so-called “Leandro” lawsuit want Lee to direct $1.7 billion in the state’s coffers to three agencies to be spent on things like improving teacher recruitment, expanding pre-kindergarten and boosting funds for low-wealth counties and students with disabilities.
Republicans who control the legislature say only the General Assembly can appropriate funds in state coffers and that Lee violates the state constitution if he acts contrary to that. The hearing comes as Cooper and GOP legislators are trying to complete state budget negotiations.