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A legislative panel rejected a proposal that would transfer $17 million from Gov. Asa Hutchinson's proposed restricted reserve fund to the Arkansas Better Chance pre-kindergarten program in the coming fiscal year.

The proposal also would have transferred $33 million from the restricted reserve fund to a fund for various education purposes, including addressing the teacher shortage, teacher recruitment, teacher pay disparity, and school security; a study on reducing teachers' administrative and paperwork burdens; and higher-education expenses.

The Joint Budget Committee's Special Language Subcommittee defeated an amendment proposed by Sen. Will Bond, D-Little Rock, to Senate Bill 33 , which is the state Department of Education's appropriation for grants and aid to local school districts and special programs.

Hutchinson has proposed putting $48 million in a restricted reserve account that could be tapped in an economic downturn and to help fund future tax cuts.

-- Michael R. Wickline

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