A group of Louisiana state senators want the Legislature to dedicate half the state's estimated $ 4.4 billion tobacco settlement money to schools--and use it, in part, to buy technology.

The proposed constitutional amendment would create trust funds for each of the state's 66 school systems with half of the money divided equally and half distributed on the basis of student populations.

The plan would endow the systems with big savings accounts from which they could spend only the annual earnings for needs such as improving technology, hiring more teachers to reduce class sizes, arts and health programs, and after-school tutoring...

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