Lawyers for SC, school districts back in court

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — An education funding lawsuit that pits South Carolina's poor, rural districts against state lawmakers is back before the state Supreme Court this week.

Arguments start Tuesday morning in the two-decades-old lawsuit, which was last argued by lawyers from both sides more than four years ago.

A court ruling was once highly anticipated. But the case became all-but-forgotten until May, when the justices ordered a re-hearing.

Two new justices have joined the court since June 2008, when the high court first heard both sides' appeal of a 2005 lower-court ruling that left neither entirely happy.

But the premise of the case remains. Justices are being asked whether South Carolina schools provide all students access to a "minimally adequate education," the constitutional standard.

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