NC appeals court considers pre-K for at-risk kids

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina court is to consider whether every needy child must be given pre-kindergarten education that prepares them for a successful school career.

The case before the state Court of Appeals on Tuesday is the latest chapter in a long legal battle over the North Carolina constitution's requirement that every child have a chance at a sound, basic education.

A state judge appointed to oversee education rights cases ruled last year that the Legislature's changes to the North Carolina program helping at-risk 4-year-olds violated the state's constitutional duty.

The judge ruled lawmakers limited spots for at-risk youngsters and required parents to make co-payments of up to 10 percent of their income.

Gov. Beverly Perdue's administration says serving all 67,000 eligible children could cost more than $300 million a year.

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