The state Supreme Court issued its ruling today (see below) on a case centering around the state’s pre-kindergarten services, and whether the state legislature had improperly imposed restrictions to the program.
The court found the legislature had passed changes in 2012 legislation that undid many of the legal issues that had been before the court. The court then remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals to vacate the July 2011 trial court decision by Judge Howard Manning that expanded the pre-K program from what was called for in 2011 legislation.
Today’s ruling won’t have any immediate effect on the pre-K offerings in the state, with funding and slots staying the same.
A “per curiam” decision was made, meaning that all of the N.C. Supreme Court justices were in agreement with today’s ruling vacating Manning’s decision.
Today’s ruling also appears to leave open how the justices felt about the 2012 changes made by the legislature, and reaffirmed the court’s prior rulings in the decades-old Leandro case about how the state delivers on its constitutional promise guaranteeing “every child of this state an opportunity to receive a sound basic education in our public schools.”
“We express no opinion on the legislation now in effect because questions of its constitutionality are not before us,” the justice’s wrote in today’s opinion. “Our mandates in Leandro and Hoke remain in full force and effect.”
For more background on the case click here for this excellent rundown by N.C. Policy Watch’s Sharon McCloskey.