School funding creates divide in attorney general's race

Written by The Associated Press | May 29, 2016 7:37 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Bradley C Bower

(Harrisburg) -- The battle in Pennsylvania over school funding could take on a new dimension.

Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, says he'd side with school districts and parents challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's system of funding public schools.

Republican nominee John Rafferty says it's dangerous for an attorney general to decide which laws they'll defend.

Rafferty insists the attorney general is required to defend the state government and its laws. However, Shapiro says the attorney general is vested with the authority to exercise judgment on constitutionality.

Shapiro could put the attorney general's office in the position of taking on top Pennsylvania officials in court.  It's a situation potentially without precedent.

A lower court threw out the case last year. The state Supreme Court could hear oral arguments in September.

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