COLUMBIA, S.C. - Five South Carolina bishops from four Christian faiths are urging reform of the state's public education system to help improve the future of children stuck in poverty and hopelessness.

The State newspaper of Columbia reported Sunday that the bishops aim to persuade their congregations and state legislators to fix an education system struggling with crumbling buildings, inadequate funding, and low expectations.

Lutheran Bishop Herman Yoos says they're raising the issue because they can't wait for the the state Supreme Court to rule in a lawsuit what constitutes a "minimally adequate" education as defined by the state's constitution.

The letter also is signed by Episcopal Bishops W. Andrew Waldo and Charles Glenn vonRosenberg, Catholic Bishop Robert Guglielmone, and United Methodist Bishop L. Jonathan Holston. Together, they lead about 450,000 parishioners.