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RALEIGH, N.C.-- A North Carolina appeals court says three charter schools cannot tap money that Cleveland County school administrators put into accounts for restricted purposes.

The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in a case over charter school funding involving Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy and three-time Republican candidate for governor Richard Vinroot. The school and Vinroot won an appeals court ruling in 2011 that said local public school districts must give charter schools a per-student share of all money placed in a current expenses fund.

Tuesday's ruling said Thomas Jefferson, Piedmont Community, and Lincoln charter schools cannot get a share of money placed in separate accounts created for specific purposes. The three-judge appeals panel said state law allows separate funds for federal grants with restricted uses or for special programs like pre-kindergarten.

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