Just the fact that they're willing to hear it is not good:
The North Carolina Supreme Court has agreed to determine whether the state can deny at-risk children access to public pre-kindergarten programs. The state Court of Appeals unanimously upheld Manning's ruling last August, saying that state can't erect artificial barriers to N.C. Pre-K. State lawmakers appealed the ruling, and the Supreme Court allowed the petition for discretionary review.
What probably won't be discussed by this august body is how the Republican-led General Assembly is actively pushing tens of thousands of North Carolina families into (or deeper into) poverty, vastly increasing the number of our children at risk. But what is pertinent to this case is how the petition filed by Roy Cooper is fundamentally flawed:
Subsequent to Leandro II, the trial court afforded the State discretion to choose an effective remedy to address the Constitutional deficiencies impacting at-risk prospective enrollees. In response, the State repeatedly represented to the trial court that its chosen remedy to address these Constitutional deficiencies was to ensure that "every at-risk four-year-old has access to a quality prekindergarten program."
Contrary to the contentions raised in its Petition, the State, not the trial court, chose statewide prekindergarten programming as the State's Leandro II remedy.
Lost in the noise from the right about what constitutes "at-risk", or even the effectiveness of early childhood education itself, is one simple fact: the Legislature is trying to do an end-run around the NC Constitution by setting arbitrary percentages and budget restrictions.
Both Manning and the appellate court understood this, but I fear our new supposedly Constitution-loving Supreme Court will gladly allow the scope to be refocused on the irrelevant.
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