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      Senate panel embraces two-prong school funding

      A Senate panel agreed Monday to the basic approach of the House school funding plan but tweaked its specific dollar amounts.

      Missouri senators are going forward with a two-prong funding plan for public schools that bases their state aid on the strength of the economy.

      A Senate panel agreed Monday to the basic approach of the House school funding plan but tweaked its specific dollar amounts.

      The House plan would add $122 million to Missouri's $3.1 billion in basic aid for school districts. But it would authorize an increase of up to $278 million if revenues meet Gov. Jay Nixon's more optimistic projections.

      The Senate Appropriations Committee decided to provide a minimum $115 million increase, leaving a larger portion of the potential $278 million increase dependent upon improved revenue collections.

      Senators typically change the House budget plan. Negotiators from the two chambers must work out their differences by early May.

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