In a strongly worded motion filed on April 29, 2014, plaintiffs in the long-pending North Carolina adequacy case have alleged that the state defendants have abandoned many of the remedial commitments they have made to the court over the past 10 years. Hoke County Bd of Edu v. State. The plaintiffs are requesting a hearing in August, 2014 at which time they request that the state present “(i) a specific written plan, with timetables, setting forth how they will fulfill their Constitutional obligation to provide all children in North Carolina the opportunity for a sound basic education and (ii) evidence regarding their ability to fulfill such a plan…”
Plaintiffs state that currently 483,000 students — more than twice the number at the time the original case was decided by the state Supreme Court ——are not proficient in the state standards, and therefore are not being provided a constitution-conforming education. In addition, the percentage of at-risk students in the public schools has increased from 38.9% in 1997-98 to 48.5% in 2006-07. During this time, according to the plaintiffs, the state has decreased funding for at-risk students and increased student to teacher ratios. In addition, the motion documents a long series of cutbacks in teacher salaries, reductions in administrative and teacher positions, and technology and instructional supplies and elimination of professional development programs. They also charge that the state has redefined its proficiency standards in a way that significantly impairs the ability of the public and of the court to gauge compliance with its constitutional obligations.
Over-all, the plaintiffs conclude that “The Defendants actions since 2008 have made it impossible for the State to provide all children in North Carolina with a meaningful opportunity for a sound basic education.”
May 28, 2014