Iowa schools will get the 3rd lowest increase in basic state funding in Iowa’s history next year. That’s according to the plan approved by Republican lawmakers this session. The shortfall in school funding again next year means seven of the last eight years have been the lowest funding levels in the history of Iowa.
Signed in to law by Governor Branstad, basic K-12 school funding, called State Supplemental Aid (SSA), was increased by just 1.11% for 2017-18 school year. That level would increase the state cost per pupil would increase from $6,591 to $6,664 (or $73). The bill was approved despite the objection of school leaders who said they will be forced to raise class sizes, cut teachers, and reduce opportunities for students.
After years of underfunding, some small rural school districts have reached the tipping point and more schools will close. Education continues to not be the priority since Republicans are now spending over $500 million in new corporate tax giveaways starting this year while their funding plan for half a million public school kids is less than 1/10th of that for next year.