WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - We're uncovering new information about hundreds of millions of dollars owed to the school system by the state but never paid.
Several school boards joined together back in 1998 to sue the state. The state constitution requires civil forfeiture money to be given to the schools, but for years, that didn't happen.
A judge ruled in favor of the schools in 2008, and ordered the state to pay the schools $747 million they were owed. But Senator Thom Goolsby says previous administrations have ignored that judgment.
"It takes a lot for the School Board Association, which is not a real confrontational group, to actually sue the state, but they just got nowhere, and it was clearly their money. It's clearly their money!" Goolsby said. "It was a no brainer for Judge Manning to order that."
Goolsby has filed Senate Bill 326 to set up a funding mechanism for the state to start paying the schools.
This is civil forfeiture, fine, and penalty money. Things like red light camera fines and civil assets seized from drug dealers.
In recent years, this money has been going to the schools as required, but a decade ago, that wasn't happening, and the schools lost out on a lot of cash.
Goolsby's bill is in the Senate Appropriations committee right now. We'll keep you posted on its progress.
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