ATLANTA - In a case that could affect school district finances nationawide, a federal judge has ordered Georgia to pay DeKalb County's school system about $35 million to cover desegregation costs.

The ruling, released last week by Judge William C. O'Kelley of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, held that the state must reimburse the Atlanta area county $24.6 million that it spent to bus students as part of its effort to integrate schools between 1977 and 1992.

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