Reaffirming that all North Carolina children have the right to a sound basic education, Governor Roy Cooper today announced a new commission of experts to improve North Carolina public schools and identify the resources they need to succeed.

Gov. Cooper has signed Executive Order 10 to establish the Governor’s Commission on Access to a Sound Basic Education to help North Carolina meet its duties under the state constitution as underscored by the landmark rulings in Leandro v. North Carolina and Hoke County Board of Education v. North Carolina.

“No matter where North Carolina students live or go to school in our state, they all deserve access to a quality education that prepares them for the jobs and opportunities of the future,” Gov. Cooper said. “That is their right as children of North Carolina and we must not let them down.”

Leandro requires North Carolina to identify specific resources needed to ensure that all children, including those who are at risk or from rural and underserved communities, have an opportunity to receive a sound basic education. Since the court issued that ruling in 1996 and the subsequent Hoke County Board of Education ruling in 2004, North Carolina has struggled to live up to those requirements.

The Commission will help North Carolina meet its constitutional duty by assessing North Carolina’s ability to staff schools with competent, well-trained teachers and principals and its commitment to providing adequate resources to public schools.

The Commission will include 17 representatives appointed by the Governor from the fields of education, business, local government, law, health care, early childhood development, psychology and counseling, and public safety. Commission leaders will work with an independent consultant appointed by the parties to Leandro to help with their review and assessment.  The Commission will meet at least quarterly to review the consultant’s work and will collaborate with policy experts from the Governor’s Office.

Members are expected to be appointed to the Commission in the coming weeks, with a first meeting anticipated this fall.



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