School funding bill top priority for Legislature

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House and Senate negotiators will take up a top priority of the legislative session: education spending.

The outcome could mark the Legislature’s success or failure, after many lawmakers and the governor promised they would decrease property tax burden this session.

Democratic legislative leaders and the governor have agreed to focus on driving down the escalating property tax rate by curbing school spending.

The House wants to reduce the tax rate by penalizing schools for spending more than 123% of the statewide per-pupil average.

But a small majority of the Senate has backed the governor’s proposal, which would prohibit communities from increasing their budgets from one year to the next unless at least a 60% majority of voters concurred.

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