Failing grade? Trial over Florida's schools comes to close

A potentially far-reaching trial that will determine whether the state is shortchanging public schools is finishing.

The month-long trial was ending Friday with final arguments. Circuit Judge George Reynolds is not expected to rule until May at the earliest.

In the lawsuit filed six years ago, education groups and parents from Duval and Pasco counties contend the state has not provided enough money to the state's schools as required under a constitutional amendment passed in 1998.

They cite the academic performance of minorities and students from poor families as proof that the state is failing its children.

State officials dispute that and contended during the trial that school districts have enough money. Instead, they pointed at school districts and local teachers as being responsible for problems.

The trial featured testimony from school districts officials and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.