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State Supreme Court Justices Consider N.C. Pre-K Case

Gavel, Court
SalFalko via Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina's Supreme Court justices heard arguments Tuesday morning over whether the state's pre-kindergarten program must be expanded to reach more children.

The justices listened to attorneys in the case over the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program, or N-C Pre-K for short. Legislative cutbacks have whittled down the number of children allowed to take part.

In 2011, Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ruled the state could not restrict access to NC Pre-K. The state is appealing that decision, saying North Carolina children have no constitutional right to the program. But attorneys for the plaintiffs say those children do have that right.

Meanwhile, early childhood experts including Ellen Peisner-Feinberg at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute are watching the case closely.

["The data so far has shown that the program has continued to be a strong program in terms of quality and in terms of the guidelines and has continued to have positive outcomes for children," says Peisner-Feinberg.

It's not clear when the justices will release their opinions.

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