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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The new school year in North Carolina will provide a big test for a new computer system.

The Charlotte Observer reported that most of the state's 1.5 million public school students return to class on Monday.

It will be the first big test of a new computer system called PowerSchool. The program is designed to handle everything from attendance records to bus routes to grades.

It's the first time Pearson School Systems' computer program has been introduced on a statewide basis. PowerSchool has never been used in a district as large as those of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Wake County.

The new system has been tested all summer and there have been slowdowns and computer crashes. Many schools have had problems creating class schedules for middle and high school students.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

AP-WF-08-21-13 1105GMT

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