The Iowa Senate approved a $986 million education budget Monday, according to state Sen. Daryl Beall.
The Fort Dodge Democrat, who supported the measure, said it increases education spending by $87 million.
Beall said the bill's highlights include an $8 million increase in aid to community colleges.
''This education budget opens doors to higher education, increases the number of skilled Iowa workers and expands our middle class,'' the senator said in a written statement he released Monday night.
''We freeze tuition for a second year in a row at Iowa's public universities, increase support to community colleges, including Iowa Central Community College, by $8 million and boost funding by $8 million to local schools to help children learning to read,'' he added.
Other elements of the bill include:
- An additional $2 million for the Iowa Reading Research Center.
- An increase of $24 million for the Regents institutions.
- Funding for the first year of the new Teacher Leadership Initiative.
The bill now goes to the Iowa House of Representatives.