- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - State lawmakers have passed a bill to increase the basic entitlement funding for schools by $54 million over the next two years.

House Bill 27, proposed by the Office of Public Instruction, calls for increasing state funding by 2.3 percent for the 2015-16 school year and 1.8 percent for the second year. It passed the Senate 44-5 on Thursday and now goes to Gov. Steve Bullock for his signature.

The legislation increases the basic entitlement for each high school from $290,000 to $300,000 for the next school year and to $305,370 for 2016-17. Schools receive an additional $15,000 for every 80 students over an enrollment of 800. The bill also increases basic funding for elementary and middle schools.

More than $1.9 billion in core funding for schools is included in the main state budget bill.

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