WOODLAND PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — State Superior Court Judge Peter Doyne will begin hearing testimony on Monday about whether Gov. Chris Christie was within his constitutional rights last year when he cut aid to local schools by about $1 billion.

Doyne was appointed by the State Supreme Court to help determine whether the cuts violated the state’s obligation to fully fund a formula for distributing money to districts.

The Christie administration said the cuts, though painful, were needed because to balance the budget.

The Education Law Center, a group that advocates for students, challenged the cuts.

The hearings are expected to last a couple of weeks. Doyne is supposed to report back to the justices by March 31.

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