Named for the lead plaintiff from Hoke County, the Leandro case is a long-running lawsuit that centered on school quality. Five low-wealth counties are plaintiffs in the suit, which led to two Supreme Court decisions, in 1997 and in 2004. The court defined the state's obligation to provide all students with the opportunity for a "sound basic education."
Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. translated the court's first broad ruling into a series of decisions. Manning spelled out how the state should make sure every child has qualified teachers and principals, as well as access to classrooms with basic resources.