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Mo. Senate passes school funding plan

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has passed a funding plan for public schools as it begins debate on a $23 billion proposed budget.

A Senate budget bill approved Wednesday would provide schools $3 billion in basic aid next year — the same amount as this year but an estimated $179 million less than called for under the school funding formula. Legislators and Gov. Jay Nixon say the state cannot afford to pay schools the full amount they are due.

The Senate budget plan also would give schools $118 million in busing aid. That’s $35 million less than schools were supposed to receive this year. But it’s about $20 million more than they actually got after Nixon made budget cuts.

The Senate’s budget plan still must be reconciled with a House version.

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