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A landmark lawsuit challenging how Pennsylvania pays for public education is moving closer to trial after Commonwealth Court dismissed state lawmakers’ last remaining objection to the case.

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Republican state senate leader Joe Scarnati argued for dismissal on the ground that in 2016, Pennsylvania  adopted a formula directing more money to school districts with greater student needs. But the plaintiffs — including parents of Philadelphia students — said that disparities between low and high-wealth districts had increased despite the formula, which applies only to a portion of what Pennsylvania spends on public education.

“Clearly, a factual dispute about the significance and adequacy of the funding changes … persists,” the court said in its order Monday.

A spokesman for Scarnati said lawmakers had increased funding for school districts by $2 billion since 2015.

The lawsuit, which was filed in 2014 by the Education Law Center and Public Interest Center on behalf of school districts, parents, and statewide organizations, the lawsuit alleges that the state is violating its constitution by failing to adequately educate children and discriminating against children based on where they live.

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