North Carolina -- February 22, 2024: Press Release North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's Office-- Today, Governor Roy Cooper issued the following statement as the North Carolina Supreme Court hears arguments in an unprecedented rehearing of Leandro v. North Carolina:

Public schools are the bedrock of our communities and of our state’s economic success. More than 8 out of 10 school-aged children in North Carolina attend public schools. Unfortunately, our strong public schools are at risk because of the legislature’s consistent and intentional underfunding and neglect.

For decades, justices of both political parties have ruled that our state constitution requires that all students have the opportunity for a sound basic education. Most recently, in 2022, the Supreme Court reaffirmed this right along with a plan ensuring we fully fund our public schools.

Now, legislative leaders want a partisan Republican Supreme Court to dramatically re-interpret the Constitution to remove the legislature’s legal obligation to invest in our public schools. So far, this Court has done whatever legislative leaders have told them to do. Let’s hope that this time, this Court will be unafraid to uphold decades of bipartisan precedent and side with school children instead of bowing to political power.

For 150 years, North Carolina has defined itself on the strength of our public education system. Our state has the resources to fully fund our public schools and now is the time to do it.

For Senator Berger and Speaker Moore, this case is not about our children, it’s about their power. What a sad moment in our history when legislative leaders ask the N.C. Supreme Court to invalidate what a bipartisan court has affirmed for decades: the State Constitution gives our children the right to a sound basic education. Public school children are at the most important crossroads in our history. Will our Supreme Court be courageous enough to protect those children, or will it once again protect the power of the politicians who would rather give billions in tax breaks and private school vouchers for the wealthy?


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