Who Paid for the Multibillion Dollar Leandro Budget Proposal Was Secret. Until Now.

The Cooper Administration is supposedly a “defendant” in the education funding lawsuit.

But it turns out the Cooper Administration PAID FOR the very plan it’s supposedly “defending” against.

Sen. Ballard: “This circus has turned into a bunch of political allies trying to pass a budget plan outside the legislative process.”

Raleigh, N.C. — A group of political allies is working with an unelected county judge to “order” the Cooper Administration to implement a spending plan supported by Gov. Cooper and opposed by the legislature.

The proposed spending plan the court intends to “order” aligns closely with Gov. Cooper’s long-standing priorities. In fact, WRAL revealed last night that the spending plan itself was paid for by the Cooper Administration, a supposed “defendant” in the case.

What’s Going On

Several years ago, a California-based consultancy was paid $2 million to put together a list of policy and budget recommendations for North Carolina’s K-12 education system. The list of recommendations produced by the out-of-state consultants overlapped with a number of Cooper Administration priorities and is projected to cost $6+ billion.

In the coming weeks, an unelected county-level trial judge will illegally order the Cooper Administration to implement the entire multibillion-dollar plan over the objections of the legislature. The judge is presiding over an education funding lawsuit that began in the 1990s, commonly referred to as “Leandro.”

The judge will order the spending despite the North Carolina Supreme Court ruling as recently as 2020 that “the power of the purse is the exclusive prerogative of the General Assembly.”

Who paid the out-of-state consultants to develop the multibillion-dollar proposal has been a secret until now.

WRAL reported last night that much of the funding came from the Cooper Administration itself.

The bottom line: The “defendants” and “plaintiffs” in this case are political allies. They paid a group of consultants to recommend a spending plan favored by and funded by the Cooper Administration, and they found an unelected judge to order the spending over the objections of the legislature.

Sen. Deanna Ballard (R-Watauga), who co-chairs the Senate Education Committee, told WRAL, “Consider how absurd this is: The Cooper administration is a ‘defendant’ in this case, yet used state dollars to fund the very plan that their political allies are suing to implement.”

She continued, “This circus has devolved into a group of politically allied lawyers on both sides of the case convincing an unelected county judge to somehow order into place the governor’s preferred budget plan. It’s a sad mockery of the judicial system.”



Press releases from N.C. Senate Republicans and Senate Leader Phil Berger

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Press releases from N.C. Senate Republicans and Senate Leader Phil Berger