Senate Democrats announce plan that is a ‘serious, meaningful step forward for Iowa’s local schools’
(Des Moines) Democratic members of the Iowa Senate today announced a plan to increase state aid to schools to ensure that every Iowa child gets the best education possible and that they are prepared to compete for the jobs of the future.
The Senate Democratic plan calls for a 4 percent increase in basic state aid for Iowa schools for the school year beginning on July 1, 2015, and for the school year beginning July 1, 2016.
“Iowa’s future depends on high-quality local schools,” said Senate President Pam Jochum of Dubuque. “That’s why we support a plan that is a serious, meaningful step forward for Iowa schools.”
“Our plan would reverse Iowa’s slide downwards when you compare us to other states in terms of per student investment,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs. “We are now 35th and falling. Other states are investing more and achieving better results that Iowa. We must do better.”
Gronstal added: “As Senate Democrats travel the state listening to parents, students, educators and other concerned Iowans, they all tell us that the funding approved by the Republican-controlled House is not enough to keep up with the costs of providing a high-quality experience in our local classrooms. In fact, school superintendents across the state say their schools are facing larger class sizes, fewer course offerings, outdated materials, and staff layoffs.”
Jochum said the House-passed version would also raise property taxes on many Iowans, while shortchanging our best and brightest students.
“The House’s party-line vote for 1.25 percent was really a vote to continue Iowa’s slide even further downwards in terms of per student investment and student achievement,” Jochum said.