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HELENA — The state asked a court Monday to bring to an end the long battle over the way schools are funded, citing increases in school funding made by the Legislature last year.

"We've said all along that we think its over," said Lynn Solomon, spokeswoman for Attorney General Mike McGrath.

The governor's office did not immediately have comment.

Monday's filing asked a court to deny a recent request from education interests for a hearing in the school funding case after the 2007 Legislature adjourns, to determine if the state has done enough to fix a school funding formula that was ruled unconstitutional.

The coalition decided against a full-scale legal challenge of the issue earlier this year, opting instead to file the status report and wait to see what the 2007 Legislature does for schools.

But the state's filing argues the matter is settled.

"If plaintiffs still believe that the school funding system is unconstitutional after the work of the 2005 and 2007 legislative sessions has been fully implemented, they can file suit then," the state's court filing says.

In early 2005, the Legislature approved about $70 million more for schools and adopted a set of standards defining a quality education. Gov. Brian Schweitzer then called a special session in December with a plan for another $71 million plan for schools.

The money came after the Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to improve the school funding system.

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