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Published April 11, 2013, 12:43 PM

Senate Dems seek boost for early education in Minnesota

Senate Democrats are looking to help Minnesota's youngest students with their budget choices on education.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Senate Democrats are looking to help Minnesota's youngest students with their budget choices on education.

Much of the new money in the Senate's $15.6 billion education budget released Thursday would fund all-day kindergarten across the state and more scholarships for early education. House Democrats highlighted the same priorities in their bill unveiled earlier this week.

The Senate's education budget adds $52 per student to the bedrock funding formula — about $150 less than the House plan. It also increases funding for special education programming and makes some changes to school exam policies that Senate Democrats say will better prepare students for college.

Senate Republicans say they support all-day kindergarten, but would rather put more money in the general formula to allow schools to use it how they see fit.

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