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Minnesota schools to get $636M in state back pay

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — About $636 million in back pay from state government is coming to Minnesota public schools.

Officials announced Monday the state is settling up on that amount of IOUs.

Lawmakers temporarily shaved more than $2 billion in payments to schools in recent years to patch holes in state government's budget. The latest repayment leaves about $238 million in outstanding debt.

With the improving state economy, schools are first in line for any excess tax collections. A law passed last spring gave finance officials until Monday to determine how much money was left, and therefore earmarked for repaying the schools, after the last fiscal year closed on June 30.

School leaders are sensitive about the payback. They fear that money previously committed to them will be perceived as a windfall.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.