O'Connell v. Schwarzenegger

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The next phase of this year's battle over money for schools will be played out in court, courtesy of a lawsuit filed today against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger by Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell and the California Teachers Association.

For months, the governor and his critics in the world of education have sparred over the level of funding provided for K-12 schools and community colleges. Schwarzenegger has touted his decision to increase school funding by some $3 billion, while his critics have said the schools were actually owed closer to an extra $6 billion, under the formulas mandated by Proposition 98.

Now, the argument will head to court. O'Connell and the CTA say their new lawsuit follows the same path as the 1993-1994 legal battle over Prop 98 with then Governor Pete Wilson, a case that challenged the ability to tinker with the initiative's guarantees about the minimum levels of school funding. That case ended in a settlement that sent hundreds of millions of dollars more to the schools.

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new multimedia California Politics & Government Desk.  He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades -- serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and, most recently, as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. He moderated the only gubernatorial debate of 2014, and was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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