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Associated Press, Published May 19 2013

Legislature sends Dayton $15.7B education budget

ST. PAUL — The Legislature has sent Gov. Mark Dayton a school funding bill that boosts education spending in a number of areas.

The Senate passed the bill Sunday by a vote of 41-26. The House signed off on the bill hours earlier in a 2 a.m. vote. Dayton is expected to sign it.

The $15.7 billion budget bill amounts to more than 40 percent of total state spending in the next two years. It increases per-student payments to districts by $78 next year and another $80 the year after that. It also funds all-day kindergarten statewide and has more money for early learning grants for lower-income families.

The new spending in the bill is funded in large part by tax increases the Democratic-led Legislature is likely to pass Sunday or Monday.