The Legislature’s Education Committee voted Monday to recommend adding more money to the governor’s $1.9 billion K-12 education budget.

The committee split on its recommendation, with Republican Sen. Peter Edgecomb of Caribou joining the panel’s Democrats in an 8-5 vote to increase funding by $51 million in each year. The other Republicans on the committee issued a minority report recommending an additional $25 million for both years of the budget.

Lawmakers said they wanted to get state education funding closer to the voter-approved mandate of 55 percent. The committee’s recommendation will be taken up by the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

Late last week, the committee recommended adding $6 million over two years to the $55 million budget for the Maine Community College System, which had been flat-funded by Gov. Paul LePage. System officials told the committee that they would need to find $10 million in cuts if their funding wasn’t increased.


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