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Mecklenburg County, NC

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools

In 2005, the Center intervened in the long-running Leandro case on behalf of several students, parents, and the Charlotte branch of the NAACP, arguing that the resegregation of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) in the wake of the district's unitary status ruling violates the state constitutional right to a sound basic education. The court denied intervention for the Center's claims focused on student assignment and on equal protection, but allowed the Center to pursue the claim that the inadequate allocation of resources violated the students' constitutional rights. Following this ruling, the Center and CMS entered into a data sharing agreement that would allow experts retained by the Center to analyze the impediments to school success created by concentrating low-income, academically non-proficient youth into schools and quantify the amount of significantly heightened resources minimally necessary to provide disadvantaged students in high poverty schools with a constitutionally compliant sound, basic education.

Project Objectives

  • Partner with legal, academic, and community advocates to demand better schools for disadvantaged youth in Charlotte.
  • Bring legal claims on behalf of a representative group of high school students to ensure students in Charlotte's most segregated schools receive access to a sound, basic education.
  • Independently evaluate the State's attempt to design, fund and implement a successful high school reform strategy in Charlotte's extremely and chronically low-performing high schools.

Project Contact

Taiyyaba Qureshi

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UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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