BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota's Senate has approved a $1.8 billion K-12 education budget that includes a bump in minimum salaries for starting teachers.

The measure would increase the minimum salary of a teacher from $22,500 to $27,500.

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The North Dakota Education Association says the average starting salary for a teacher in the state is $32,000.

Democratic Sen. Joan Heckaman of New Rockford proposed an amendment to raise the minimum salary for a starting teacher to $32,000. But Senators defeated that measure 31-14.