A new state-equalization funding bill for Nebraska public schools has won first-round approval from lawmakers.
Lawmakers advanced a measure on Thursday, 42-0, that was billed as a compromise between larger and smaller schools.
The proposal sets an average 5 percent annual increase in state aid for schools in the next two-year budget, to restore aid that was cut in previous years. It would cost the state $908 million in the first year, and $940 million in the second.
The bill would increase the local effort rate, which lets school districts offset state aid losses through local tax dollars.
Sen. Kate Sullivan, chairwoman of the Education Committee, says the measure was the result of long and arduous negotiations. The bill is still subject to change.
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