Legal bill for school funding lawsuit tops $12 million - - Columbia, South Carolina

Legal bill for school funding lawsuit tops $12 million

(Columbia-AP) February 12, 2006 - The legal costs for South Carolina's trial on school funding have surpassed more than $12 million.

And more than half that amount has come from public funds.

Figures compiled by The State newspaper in Columbia say the trial's total bills run $12.39 million.

That's about the same amount as the annual budget for Marion Seven School District, one of those involved in the suit.

Taxpayers have footed the bill for $6.5 million of that total.

The rest of the amount is from the cost of time and resources a Columbia law firm says it has used helping rural school districts sue South Carolina.

The costs will likely continue to rise now that attorneys for rural schools have asked Circuit Judge Thomas W. Cooper Jr. to reconsider his December ruling. Cooper found the state meets its constitutional obligation to give children a chance at a "minimally adequate education."

Attorneys for the rural schools have until April 3 to outline their reasons why Cooper should change his decision.

Posted 6:47pm by Graeme Moore

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