Bill fixing North Carolina's class-size challenge loaded up

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Republicans have offered wide-ranging legislation that fixes anticipated class-size challenges in the public schools next fall, but it's loaded with other provisions that give Democrats heartburn.

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A bill negotiated by House and Senate GOP leaders unveiled Thursday would require classes in kindergarten through third grade to meet lower averages by the 2021-22 school year. The legislature also located $61 million to help districts pay for music, art and physical education teachers.

But the measure also would divert $57 million to be paid by utility companies wanting to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to public schools, instead of using it for environmental and economic projects as Gov. Roy Cooper's office wanted. It also would rework a combined ethics and elections board that the Supreme Court struck down last month.

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