It is now up to a Mississippi judge to decide the fate of a multi-million dollar education funding lawsuit being brought against the state. 21 school districts claim that legislators broke state law by short-funding the state's education spending formula.
The districts are asking a Hinds County Chancery judge to order the state to give them about 240-million dollars.
They also want to require lawmakers to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education program, which is the state's education spending formula often called MAEP.
The judge heard the case yesterday.
Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove argued before the court that legislators are breaking the law when they don't fully fund the formula.
"The statute is clear it says 'shall'. The state had a mandatory obligation to fully fund MAEP. unfortunately, they did not do that," Musgrove said.
Lawyers for the state declined to comment on tape following the hearing.
But in court said the lawsuit should be tossed because past legislatures are constitutionally forbidden from telling current legislatures how to spend state money.
Attorney Harold Pizzetta told the judge this suit is trying to quote 'grab the hand of the future legislature and force them to vote'.
Musgrove pushed for a summary judgement seeking to avoid a trial, which the state opposed.
It is not clear when the judge will issue his ruling.