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Schools Warn: Class Sizes Will Rise if State Investment Falls Short Again Next Year

January 19, 2016 10:14 am by: Category: 2015 Session Information, Education, Featured, Recent News Leave a comment A+ / A-

According to a new survey, over 90% of school administrators said another year of stagnant state funding would lead to higher class sizes in their own school.

“Iowa’s local educators have told us, again, how underfunding local schools is limiting the opportunities of our state’s next generation. Underfunding education also undermines our state’s economic future, according to Iowa business leaders frustrated by a shortage of skilled workers,” said Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “I urge the House Republican majority to stand by the votes they cast last year for the education increase vetoed by Governor Branstad. Anyone can promise to support high quality schools. What Iowa needs right now are Republican legislators who join with Democrats and vote to keep those promises.”

The survey was completed by superintendents, principals, and other school administrators to gather information about the consequences of short changing public schools next year as well as determine the impact of the Governor’s veto last summer.  In addition to raising class size, school leaders said underfunding schools next year would force them to delay purchases for books or classroom materials (77%); leave positions unfilled (71%); delay new technology (56%); and cut back literacy programs (43%).

“Iowa kids won’t get a world class education if schools have to raise class size, use old technology, and cut back literacy programs because of underfunding by the state,” said Rep. Patti Ruff of McGregor, Ranking Member of the House Education Committee.  “It’s time for Governor Branstad and Republican leaders to listen to our school leaders and work with us to make public schools the top priority of the Legislature again.”

The survey also found 88% of the school leaders recommended the state provide at least a 4% increase in basic state funding next year.

 

The full list of  the survey results can be found here.

 

2016 Iowa School Administrator Survey Results

257 Responses from Iowa School Administrators

 What impact did the Governor’s $56 million school funding veto last summer have in your school?
(Please check all that apply)
Percent Responses
Increased class size 61% 157
Left positions unfilled 42% 109
Delayed new technology purchases 41%      107
Other 43% 113
Cut back literacy programs 29% 77
Cut back offerings in music, art, or P.E. 13% 34
Reduced extra-curricular programs 10% 26

 

What level of supplemental state aid should the Legislature set for 2016-2017?
Percent Responses
8% or above 5
7% 1
6% 31 88% say 4% or above
5% 32
4% 156
3% 25
2% 3
1% 0
0% 1

 

If schools receive stagnant state funding again next year, is it likely that class sizes will increase in your school building?
Percent
Yes 90.42%
No 9.58%

 

  When thinking about the next school year, what is the likely result at your school if the legislature under funds public schools again next year? (Check all that apply)
Percent Responses
Raise class size 84% 216
Delay purchases for books or classroom materials 77% 200
Leave positions unfilled 71% 184
Delayed new technology purchases 56%      145
Cut back literacy programs 43% 113
Other 33% 85
Cut back offerings in music, art, or P.E. 31% 81

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