Budget panel approves $639 million for schools

The Legislature's budget-writing committee has approved increasing spending on K-12 schools by $639 million over the next two years.

The plan approved by the Joint Finance Committee comes as the Republican-controlled panel is nearing completion of the seven-week late state budget.

The heart of Gov. Scott Walker's education funding proposal approved Monday with no Democratic support would raise per-pupil aid by $200 this year and $204 next year for all schools, at a cost of about $505 million. Democrats voted against the plan. 

They argue the latest school funding proposal didn't do enough to help public schools, while spending millions more for private schools in the choice program.The plan will raise income limits to participate in the statewide private school voucher program from 185 percent to 220 percent of the federal poverty level.

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