Senate DFL onboard with all-day kindergarten

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DFL education leaders in the Minnesota state Senate unveiled a bill Thursday that puts $130 million into providing all-day kindergarten, the Star Tribune reports.

The proposal says all-day kindergarten would be optional for both districts and parents.

Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL leaders in the House also support funding all-day kindergarten, but the question appears to be whether there will be enough money to extend it statewide, the newspaper reports.

The $15.6 billion education budget also includes a $100 million increase in basic classroom education, $44 million to help lower-income families attend early-childhood programs, changes in the state's testing system and an addition $9 million for special education.

The Associated Press reports the Senate's bill adds $52 per student to the bedrock funding formula, which is about $150 less than the House plan.

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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