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NC school vouchers may flow before court hearing

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By EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Taxpayer money for private or religious school tuition may start flowing to North Carolina families before a judge rules whether the program is legal.

The state agency in charge of the Opportunity Scholarships last month advanced the date it planned to distribute tuition funding to Aug. 15. That date is a month earlier than the North Carolina State Educational Assistance Authority previously projected and a week before a scheduled court date intended to debate the law's constitutionality.

Educational Assistance Authority Executive Director Steven Brooks said Thursday his agency isn't setting its timetable based on the legal dispute and decided distributing the money sooner was best.

An attorney for those challenging the voucher program says once money is paid out it will be hard to get it back.

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