Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 05/23/2011 - 3:38pm.

By GARY D. ROBERTSON Associated Press RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Senate Republicans plan to unveil a budget for North Carolina government Tuesday that spends slightly more overall than the House version did and would hire 1,400 additional teachers in early grades. A chief budget-writer, Sen. Neal Hunt of Raleigh, said Monday the measure is designed to reduce the teacher-student ratio classroom in first through third grades from the current 1-to-18 funding to 1-to-17. Hunt said it's the first step in a goal to reduce the ratio to 1-to-15. The budget still would spend hundreds of millions of dollars less than Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue proposed and eliminate more funding than the House did for teacher assistants. Hunt said a tax package will include cuts to the corporate and individual income tax and a tax break for small businesses. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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