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North Carolina's Governor Seeks Expedited Appeal and No Stay in Leandro

On May 3, 2002, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley proposed that the State Attorney General seek a "fast track" appeal directly to the State Supreme Court in the school funding "adequacy" case, Leandro v. State. He also urged state officials to cooperate with the trial court's requirement "to keep the Court advised of the remedial actions taken by the State . . . every 90 days," rather than seek a stay of the trial court's April ruling (PDF Format). The governor indicated that the intention of these actions was to avoid uncertainty that he believes a longer appeal process would generate. Spokespersons for plaintiffs and poor school districts said they were encouraged by the governor's position.

In 1997, the North Carolina Supreme Court declared that the state constitution "requires that all children have the opportunity for a sound basic education" and remanded the Leandro case for trial. It appears that the high court may soon be reviewing the decision resulting from that trial.

Prepared May 3, 2002