Monday, December 06, 2004

North Carolina gets judicious

North Carolina is often invoked as a model for how states can manage public education. But it appears the Tar Heel state is, like most states, short on cash for schools. And, like Texas, Kentucky, and New York, the state courts are getting involved:

Tomorrow, a judge in Wake County is scheduled to open hearings on a long-range plan to help tens of thousands of poor students in North Carolina who live in poorer areas unable to spend adequate money on public schools.

It is the next step in a long-overdue overhaul that will require the state to commit money and energy to reshape the way it approaches public education.

The article goes on to say that the gap between expenditures of rich and poor districts is nearly $2,000 per student. And again, the mantra -- as it is so many other states -- is that the paltry funding levels make it impossible for the state to fulfill its constitutional mandate to educate all children.

It appears the judicial branch will continue to assert itself in education policy. How effective this brand of judicial activism can be remains to be seen.


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