By Bria Brown

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to allocate nearly $4.4 billion in federal COVID-19 aid to K-12 schools after Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration reached an agreement.

The supplemental budget bill would account for all but $362 million in unallotted school funding from U.S. rescue packages approved in March and December. The House is expected to send the measure to the governor as soon as Wednesday.

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The vote was a sign of progress weeks after Whitmer and GOP legislative leaders announced the framework of a deal to open budget talks after Republicans for months tried to curb her emergency pandemic powers. Negotiations continue over the 2021-22 budget and how to use billions in discretionary coronavirus aid.

“I appreciate the movement and there is a lot more work to do,” state budget director Dave Massaron said.

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Under federal law, school districts and charter schools with higher numbers or portions of poor students will get a large share of $4.2 billion. The Senate removed a House-passed provision that would have directed $362 million to districts and charter academies with higher percentages of children from middle-class and wealthy families — a bid to ensure they get an increase of at least $1,093 per student.

About $180 million would go to private schools.

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