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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Advocates for using taxpayer money for tuition at private or religious schools have new hope after North Carolina’s Supreme Court removed a lower judge’s order blocking the program’s start this fall.

The high court on Wednesday said the program could go ahead while lawsuits are being debated in court.

The agency handling the private school program says there’s a lot to do before annual grants of up to $4,200 a year per student can flow. State Educational Assistance Authority executive director Steven Brooks says he’s not sure if the program will be ready in time for the start of the next school year in August.

The program was blocked in February, just before a lottery determined the first 2,400 students to get the grants.

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