RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's top court will decide whether legislators can interpret the state constitution in a way that gives an elected schools superintendent control over about $10 billion a year in public school spending.

The state Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday over whether lawmakers can diminish the authority of the appointed statewide school board. The panel's lawyers argue the state constitution clearly states the school board "shall supervise and administer the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support."

Legislative leaders and schools Superintendent Mark Johnson are telling justices the constitution authorizes lawmakers to change the power relationship. The constitution declares the school board shall make all needed education rules and regulations in line with laws the General Assembly enacts.