Public schools owed 750 million by state to bring lawsuit

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina school districts are set to sue for hundreds of millions of dollars a court previously ruled was owed them.

The North Carolina School Boards Association scheduled a Wednesday news conference in Durham to announce a complaint reviving a decades-long legal battle over nearly $750 million in civil penalties.

The state constitution requires certain fines and forfeitures collected by state agencies go to public schools. School boards sued the state in 1998, arguing that agencies hadn't sent along the monetary penalties.

The case reached the state Supreme Court, and a trial judge ultimately determined in 2008 how much districts should receive. But the judge stopped short of ordering the legislature to pay up, saying it was beyond the scope of his powers to do so.

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