The Texas Senate has passed a bill to formalize a $4 billion cut to public education and direct how it will be spread across school districts.
The bill is one of the most essential items of the special session that expires Wednesday. A House vote was expected later Tuesday to send the bill to Gov. Rick Perry.
Democrats had resisted the school cuts with the state leaving an estimated $10 billion in reserve funds untouched.
The measure changes distribution formulas for public schools to let the state give school districts less money than current law. It spreads the $4 billion cut over two years -- 6 percent across-the-board cuts in 2012 and $2 billion in targeted cuts in 2013.