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NC High Court To Hear Case On Pre-K Program

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(Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)

(Photo by Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Supreme Court is considering a case that could decide whether a pre-kindergarten academic program designed to boost the educational prospects of poor children must be expanded to enroll every needy 4-year-old. One estimate puts the move at up to $300 million a year.

The state’s high court will hear from attorneys Tuesday in the latest chapter in a 19-year-old dispute brought by five poor school districts.

The North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that every child has a constitutional right to a sound, basic education. The high court ruled in 2004 that that includes helping children who are at risk of falling behind their peers with pre-kindergarten services.

At issue are cutbacks by the Republican-led General Assembly that lower courts decided would deprive most disadvantaged 4-year-olds from benefiting.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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