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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A North Carolina judge is blocking a new law that would have allowed taxpayer money to go for tuition at private or religious schools.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled Friday that awarding annual grants of up to $4,200 a year per student violated the state constitution. More than 4,000 families had applied for the grants that were scheduled to be awarded next month.

A lawyer representing two parents who want the grants says an appeal is planned.

The grants were to start in the next academic year for families whose children qualified for the federal free or reduced-price school lunch program, about $44,000 for a family of four.

Taxpayers and groups representing teachers and many of the state’s 115 school boards challenged the program in two lawsuits.

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