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NC Senate Head Pushes $440M Education Package

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(Photo credit FRANK PERRY/AFP/GettyImages)

(Photo credit FRANK PERRY/AFP/GettyImages)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An education reform package pushed by the North Carolina’s Senate leader is estimated to cost nearly $440 million over the next five years if it becomes law.

Sen. Phil Berger explained the legislation Wednesday to the first legislative committee considering it. The Rockingham County Republican’s bill is being revised following suggestions from teachers, school boards, and superintendents. It will be discussed next week.

Legislative budget analysts estimate the expanded focus on reading skills in elementary school, adding five days to the school calendar, evaluating all new kindergarten students, and other measures would cost nearly $50 million next year. The annual cost grows to $106 million in five years.

Berger says everyone agrees North Carolina’s public schools need improvement, and this bill is a beginning.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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