ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A highly contentious debate over education issues kept state lawmakers working through the weekend.

House Republicans today passed a bill that would put an extra $157 million toward early education.

It includes early learning scholarships, gets rid of seniority rules during teacher layoffs and provides ACT reimbursements. They say it will help close the achievement gap and provide fairer funding per student.

Democrats argue the increase is too small, saying the legislation would hurt students and force schools to cut programs and staff.

The bill now goes to the Senate, which is looking to give $350 million more in education funding.

Gov. Dayton says he won’t accept a classroom funding bill that does not include pre-kindergarten programs for all 4-year-olds in Minnesota.

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