A North Carolina judge is ordering a stop to the use of taxpayer money to pay for tuition at private or religious schools.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled Thursday that the program is unconstitutional on several levels.

Hobgood says the program pays for students to attend schools that are not obliged to meet state curriculum requirements, violating the state constitution's guarantee for students to have an opportunity to a sound basic education.

Hobgood said it's also unconstitutional for public funds to go to privately run and managed schools.

The judge said money must stop flowing to private schools as of Thursday morning. It's not clear if some of the money was already distributed earlier this week as planned and whether that must be reimbursed.