BOSTON (AP) _ Of all the bills that stalled out during the Massachusetts Legislature's just-completed formal session, perhaps the one creating the most heartburn is the failure to reach a deal overhauling the state's 25-year-old education funding system.

Education advocates, parents and teachers unions had hoped to revamp the funding formula _ known as the ``foundation budget.'' The formula is meant to level educational disparities between wealthier communities and poorer ones.

Time had run out this week before the House and Senate could come up with a compromise version of the bills each chamber had already approved.

The criticism was swift _ including talk of possible lawsuits by districts seeking more funding from the state.

Negotiators on both sides say they are disappointed. The Legislature won't meet again in formal session until January.