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Judge opens hearing on budget cuts, NC schools

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By EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A North Carolina judge is reviewing educational data to try to determine if the state's nearly $20 billion budget and other recent legislation allow every child to get the chance for a sound basic education.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. opened the hearing in Raleigh on Wednesday by pointing out that 200,000 of the state's 1.5 million students were not reading on grade level in the just-completed school year.

Manning says the state's teachers and principals are not getting the job done for the students.

Attorneys for the five poor school districts which brought a long-running education-rights lawsuit argued that the budget passed last week over the veto of Gov. Beverly Perdue would undercut gains made since a state Supreme Court ruling in 1997.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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