A three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday blocked enforcement of a trial judge’s order requiring the state to fund a $1.7 billion plan to fund public schoos.
The appellate panel voted 2-1 to issue an order stating that Superior Court Judge David Lee exceeded his authority under the state Constitution when he ordered $1.7 billion to be transferred from the state treasury. Lee said the money would help ensure the state meets its constitutional obligation to provide students with a sound basic education.
On Nov. 10, Lee had ordered state Controller Linda Combs, state Treasurer Dale Folwell and state Budget Director Charles Perusse to fund the first two years of a multi-year plan developed by an education consultant. Combs had filed a motion last week asking the appellate court to block the order.
The panel went further than just granting a temporary stay blocking the order. The panel issued a writ of prohibition, saying that Lee had exceeded his jurisdiction when he ordered that the money be transferred.
The appellate intervention is the latest chapter in the long-running Leandro school funding case that was first filed in 1994.
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