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Differing views on how much school state aid should increase

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state government’s coffers will get a half-billion-dollars more than expected over the next budget period.

Assembly Republicans say they want to give about 40-percent of the windfall to public schools.

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said Thursday that Wisconsin would have a $543-million surplus by the time the next budget period ends in mid-2015.

Joint Finance Assembly chair John Nygren proposed giving schools $100 more per student in state aid, for a total of $225 million over the two-year period.

Senate President Mike Ellis has proposed a $200 increase in school aid per student, with $245 million to be funded by the state and the rest by a slight property tax increase.

Republican Governor Scott Walker said he wants to hold the line on property taxes – plus provide more school aid and a bigger income tax cut.

Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca said Republicans should quote, “un-do the damage they did” to public schools and vocational school job training in the 2011 budget.

Walker said Act-10 gave many schools the tools they needed to off-set the 2011 state aid cuts – but the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance said it only made up for two-thirds of the school aid losses statewide.

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