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Lawmakers finalize $74.4 billion budget, but conforming bills remain unresolved

Budget talks between the House and the Senate wrapped up Sunday night, with lawmakers agreeing to a $74.4 billion spending plan for the 2013-2014 fiscal year that funds teacher and state worker raises and puts an extra $1 billion into education.

Lawmakers agreed to a formula for teacher pay increases that gives instructors deemed “highly effective” a salary increase of up to $3,500 and those deemed “effective” receiving an increase of at least $2,500. But the raises won’t go into effect until July 2014 and will be based on performance evaluations in the 2013-2014 school year. Evaluation formulas must be developed by school districts and approved by the state, but also must include student performance as part of the criteria.

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