CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire would keep half the $41 million in emergency federal funding intended to protect teachers’ jobs for other state spending under a plan facing a legislative committee’s approval.

The joint legislative Fiscal Committee will take up the plan Monday. Documents provided to the Associated Press show the plan is to distribute all the money through the existing school aid formula in place of state tax dollars. The state would then distribute $20 million in additional aid from the freed-up state funds.

The total aid distribution for this fiscal year would rise from $957 million to $978 million.

Federal education officials estimated the $41 million would save 700 teachers’ jobs, but a survey by school administrators last summer determined roughly 200 jobs had been cut going into the school year.

In documents filed with the Fiscal Committee, Christopher Clement, director of the state’s Office of Economic Stimulus, said the state increased school aid by more than $100 million in the current two-year-budget, which fully funded its aid commitment.

He said federal law requires schools to use the funds for pay and benefits and other expenses needed to retain existing employees, to recall or rehire former employees and to hire new employees. Schools that have excess funds at the end of this school year can use the money to hire new teachers through the end of September 2011.