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Quick look: The “Leandro” case and the court-ordered $1.7 billion. Where the money will go.

Superior Court Judge David Lee of Union County issued a historic order on Nov. 10 in the long-running “Leandro” case on inequities in public schools, requiring the state to spend an additional $1.7 billion on education statewide.

From the court order, here’s how the $1.7 billion would be spent:

  • $189.9 million to Department of Health and Human Services
  • $1.5 billion to Department of Public Instruction
  • $41.3 million to UNC system

How do those numbers further break down?

Here is how Every Child NC, the coalition that has been the primary proponent of a Leandro settlement, wants the money to be spent. The coalition actually wants $3.74 billion spent over eight years.

There would be no increase to teachers’ salaries or that of principals, but teachers’ assistants would get additional funding of $20 million in the first year, with that projected to increase to $217.7 million fiscal year 2028.

Assistant principals will not get any money in the first year, but by 2028, funding for them would be increased by $30.9 million.

Transportation? Career and Technical Education teachers and programming support? Small counties? No new funding at all for any of those categories.

The biggest change to funding would be for the category of “disadvantaged students supplemental funding,” which would see a whopping increase of $337.2 million in fiscal year 2022, from $100.8 million to $438 million.

By 2028, that category would see additional funding of $1.5 billion under Leandro.

After that, “limited English proficiency” education would get a boost of $10.3 million in the first year, to ramp up to $226.8 million by 2028.

The category that would be eliminated under Leandro would be “at-risk” students, who will not be funded at all.

Leandro also will create three new categories: Professional Development & Mentoring, Career Development Coordinators, and Community School Coordinator. Together, the three new groups will be funded to the tune of $335.8 million by 2028.

Although “disadvantaged student supplemental funding” was discussed in educational policy in the Aughts, the term is not found anywhere in the “Leandro Comprehensive Remedial Plan” that was submitted to the court in March.

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