By Louisa Moller

BOSTON (CBS) – Both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature unanimously passed a landmark education bill Wednesday. If the bill becomes law, it would give an additional $1.5 billion dollars to the state’s school districts.

“This is a really exciting day. To have the bill on the verge of being signed into law,” chairperson of the Joint Education Committee Sen. Jason Lewis said.

Dubbed the Student Opportunity Act, the bill would reformulate how districts receive state money by directing more to those serving students living in poverty or with language barriers.

“Those communities that are often referred to as our gateway cities — Lawrence, Fall River, New Bedford, Worcester,” chairperson of the Joint Education Committee, Rep. Alice Peisch said.

The legislation requires that each school district submit a three-year plan, detailing how the money will be spent, to the state.

Lawmakers are optimistic that Gov. Charlie Baker will sign the bill into law.

“I am keeping my fingers crossed,” Peisch said.

Louisa Moller

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