Meager school funding set for FY2017

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela

Meager school funding set for FY2017

Ames school superintendent Tim Taylor says that with a 2.25% supplemental aid from the state, Ames will have to cut $812,000 in program and staff for 2016-2017. “It could be slightly higher or lower, I just don’t know yet. Ugh. Just not sure where it will come from yet either.” said Tim Taylor. Today, the House and Senate Conference Committee recommended the meager 2.25%.

The constant delays and stagnant state investment in Iowa public schools by House Republicans have real consequences — higher class sizes, outdated technology, and old textbooks for kids in public schools.  It also means at least 1/3 of Iowa school districts will be forced to raise property taxes next year.

Republicans are quick to claim the state doesn’t have enough money to adequately invest in public schools this year, but the reality is they’ve ignored public schools to make room for over $750 million in corporate tax cuts the last several years.

The deal pushed by House Republicans will reduce opportunities for 560,000 kids in Iowa public schools. That’s because Republicans gave very little in the negotiation and refused to provide even enough money for schools to keep up with rising costs next year.

It’s clear public schools aren’t a priority for Republicans; I believe Iowa’s children and their education should be our top priority.

The governor’s education reform initiatives will go unfunded. The governor insisted that 3rd graders be retained if they are not reading at grade level. The state was to provide funding for summer school which would be an option to retention. That program will be postponed. Grade level reading is a priority and we should fund it.

The governor also initiated a teacher leadership program which will not be funded beyond the 2.25 supplemental aid.

Iowa’s students deserve more. I will vote no on the Conference Committee Report.