The North Carolina Supreme Court has vacated lower-court rulings calling barriers to access the state's pre-kindergarten program unconstitutional, saying lawmakers have since eliminated those barriers.
The North Carolina Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case that could require the state to open up its NC Pre-K program to every needy 4-year-old who applies, which some have estimated could cost the state $300 million a year.
Former Gov. Mike Easley, who created the More at Four early childhood education program more than a decade ago, has jumped into the legal battle over access to pre-kindergarten programs in North Carolina.
The state budget brings clarity to long-fought battles over how teachers will be paid, how the Commerce Department will be organized, funding for rural development and other stories.