HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A decision about whether Pennsylvania’s method of funding public education meets the state constitutional requirement that lawmakers provide “a thorough and efficient system” was left in the hands of a state judge Tuesday when arguments wrapped up in the long-running case.

The case could result in substantial changes, as the plaintiffs are challenging whether the amounts and method of distribution of the annual education subsidies issued by the General Assembly comport with the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The School District of Lancaster is one of the plaintiffs in the case, plus five other school districts, several parents, the state conference of the NAACP, and the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools.

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During the four-month trial, lawyers argued the system setup to fund schools in Pennsylvania is not fair and the poorest communities are suffering because of it.

Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg, a senior lawyer with the Public Interest Law Center, speaking for the plaintiffs, described the current system as plagued by deep and systemic shortcomings. He said people who feel their right to an adequate education has been violated have the right to go to court.

“What you have to show, I think, is that there’s a source for that violation, that the source is the General Assembly failing to do its duty,” Urevick-Ackelsberg told the judge.

The plaintiffs in the case held a rally at the state Capitol as the trial wrapped on Tuesday. Commonwealth Court Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer did not indicate when she will rule but said lawyers have left her with a massive record to review.

The defendants in the case are Republican State House and Senate leaders. They say funding has been growing and is adequate.

Patrick Northen, a lawyer for House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, told Cohn Jubelirer that in other states where courts have found school funding fell short of constitutional standards, a typical result has been years of additional litigation and tension between branches of government with “little or no practical results.”

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State funding was boosted in the budget that just passed, which is a move the plaintiffs in the case applaud but say is still not enough to fix the funding system. A ruling in their favor could mean significant changes.

“That could mean more money for the lowest wealth schools. It could mean new strategies that improve the number of teachers and what those schools could pay,” said Donna Cooper, executive director at Children First.

No matter how Judge Jubelirer rules, the case is expected to be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.