The UNC School of Education named Gerry Hancock as the recipient of the 2022 Peabody Award, the highest award given by the UNC School of Education. Gerry has spent his career working for better educational opportunities for all North Carolinians. His practice has focused on transforming public education and expanding opportunities for children. Gerry has served as legal counsel to the Low Wealth Schools Consortium of North Carolina since 1991. In 1994, he organized the landmark litigation Leandro v. North Carolina, which established the right of every child to a “sound basic education.”
In 1996, Gerry led the lobbying effort to authorize a $1.8 billion statewide school construction bond issue and served as vice chair of the Partnership for Schools and Roads that won public approval for the bonds in a statewide referendum. Additionally, Gerry was instrumental in efforts to secure the court-ordered WestEd Action Plan for North Carolina, a massive evidence-based documentation of the actions and funding required to assure every child’s opportunity for a sound basic education.
Gerry also organized several nonprofits specifically dedicated to the improvement of public education and the expansion of opportunity for children. He has also played instrumental roles in organizations that have, as a central part of their mission, worked to expand educational opportunity for North Carolinians. These organizations include: the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, the Public School Forum of North Carolina, the Rural Center of North Carolina, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Education NC, and the Innovation Project.
Congratulations to Gerry!