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New WRAL Documentary ‘Leandro: The Case for a Sound Basic Education’ debuts Wednesday ::

— The Leandro case has circulated through North Carolina courts for nearly 30 years now, but many parents of school-aged children are hearing the name for the first time. WRAL’s investigative documentary reporter Cristin Severance and photojournalist Jay Jennings traveled across the state to uncover what’s really at stake when it comes to your child’s education. “Leandro: The Case for a Sound Basic Education” is hosted by Severance and premieres on WRAL-TV and WILM-TV Wednesday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m.

The landmark education case was filed in 1994 by five poor counties which said they couldn’t afford to give their students an adequate education. After almost 30 years, the lawsuit is still going on and affects funding for every school system in North Carolina. Parents say the problems in school districts across the state have gotten worse, and many blame politics for the lack in progress.

“When I heard about the Leandro case, started researching it and realized its impact, I knew this had to be my first documentary at WRAL,” said Severance. “We traveled all over the state, interviewed superintendents, teachers, students, advocates, former judges and lawmakers about the Leandro case. I hope after watching, viewers get a big picture understanding of this important case and why it should matter to anyone living in North Carolina.”

The latest WRAL Documentary dives into the facts of the case, its impact on students in North Carolina and why there could finally be a resolution that parents should be aware of in 2022.​

Meet Cristin Severance, WRAL’s investigative documentary producer

Cristin Severance joined the WRAL Documentary team in November 2021 after more than 16 years of working as an investigative reporter and docuseries creator at televisions stations across the county.

As an 11-time Regional Emmy winner and 2-time Edward R. Murrow winner, Severance has added the expertise that is essential to the WRAL Documentary unit. She is married to WRAL anchor/reporter Dan Haggerty, and they are the proud parents of twin boys.

Her philosophy when it comes to reporting includes shining a light on injustice, holding the powerful accountable and creating change. As a mother, Severance says she is drawn to any story involving education, schools and kids.

Severance comes to WRAL after reporting at KGW in Portland, Oregon, KTVT in Dallas, Texas, KGTV in San Diego, California, WEWS in Cleveland, Ohio, WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Florida, WKBN in Youngstown, Ohio and WDTV in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Do you have a documentary idea? Email Cristin at

When and how to watch

“Leandro: The Case for a Sound Basic Education” will premiere on WRAL-TV and WILM-TV in Wilmington on Wednesday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. The documentary will be rebroadcast on WRAZ FOX 50 on Saturday, March 19, at 1 p.m.

The documentary will also be available for on-demand viewing on, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV and YouTube beginning Wednesday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Be sure to follow “Leandro: The Case for a Sound Basic Education” on social media using #wraldoc.

This content was originally published here.

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