Lawmakers reach deal in budget negotiations

By MELINDA DESLATTE - BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers negotiating a budget compromise say they have struck a deal that would include a $69 million increase in public school funding next year.
The proposal for the 2013-14 budget was reached among nine legislative leaders and is backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The deal over how to spend $25 billion still must get the support of a majority of lawmakers for final passage.
Negotiators say they'll be presenting the compromise plan to their individual delegations Thursday morning for consideration, with hopes an agreement will be final before the legislative session must end at 6 p.m.
The deal includes a $69 million increase for local school districts that Jindal says he will seek to make a recurring funding boost, rather than a $50 million one-time bonus that had been proposed.

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