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State sues Orange County over school money

April 5, 2012 |  1:52 pm

Orange County lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by the state Thursday against Orange County says a diversion of money from education to balance the budget is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court asks a judge to force the county put the money back into schools and community colleges.

The legal fight stems from changes last year in how the state dishes out money from vehicle license fees, which cost Orange County $48 million.

The county planned to use $73.5 million to bridge a $49.5-million budget gap and cover $24 million in day-to-day expenses.

Officials said K-12 schools wouldn't suffer because the state would be forced to fork over more money because of a constitutional requirement on school funding. Community colleges, however, would be more vulnerable.

Read more at the Times' state politics blog, PolitiCal.


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-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento and Nicole Santa Cruz in Orange County

Photo: Students work on a math lesson at Romero-Cruz Elementary School in Santa Ana in Orange County. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times