Indiana Senate budget leaders are proposing that changes to local school funding be phased in so that cuts faced by some urban and rural districts with shrinking enrollments will be easier to manage.
The Republican-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee released its two-year state spending plan Thursday. The panel voted 8-3 to advance it to the full Senate.
The Senate committee's $31.5 billion plan includes 2.3-percent increases in school funding in each of the next two budget years. That is similar to the increase backed by House Republicans in February.
The Senate plan, however, directs slightly more money toward districts with higher numbers of students from poor families, with a five-year phase-in of changes in how that money is distributed.
House Republican leaders made a top priority of closing some of the gap in per-child funding between growing and shrinking school districts they say had reached nearly $3,000.
House and Senate leaders have until April 29 to reach a budget agreement.
This story will be updated.