DALLAS (AP) _ National Gypsum Co. has paid $8.4 million to settle claims by about 155 school districts in 19 states filed after materials containing asbestos were found in school buildings, the company said.

The money has been paid into an escrow account pending delivery of the settlement documents by the districts. National Gypsum announced the settlement Wednesday.

As part of the agreement, 25 other schools and school districts agreed to pursue claims through the National School Class litigation rather than through individual lawsuits.

That litigation is pending in Philadelphia federal court against more than 50 former miners, manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos building materials.

The company said the settlement was not expected to have an impact on earnings because the amount was charged to reserves created from insurance proceeds and reserves previously established with respect to the deductible portions of its insurance coverage.