DENVER (AP) — Colorado public schools would get their biggest funding boost in years under a bill that has won initial approval in the state Senate.

The bill adds some $200 million for schools next year, a reflection of improving state finances as Colorado emerges from the recession. Thursday’s unrecorded voice vote in the Senate means one more vote is required before the bill heads to the House.

The bill is separate from a school-finance overhaul that would require voters to approve some $1 billion in new taxes to enhance education funding. That bill awaits a House vote.

The bill approved in the Senate Thursday includes an expanded state preschool program, $1 million for construction at charter schools and $20 million for special education.

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