A top priority of the Iowa Legislature the last two year is to make sure our kids are prepared for jobs in today’s global economy.  We made great progress during the 2008 legislative session by expanding opportunities,  raising academic standards and keeping higher education affordable for all Iowans.  Some highlight include:  

  • Raising Standards – Iowa schools are now required to adopt the Iowa Model Core Curriculum which requires four years of English and three of math, science and social studies. It also includes 21st Century learning skills like health, technology and financial literacy (SF 2216, signed & effective July 1, 2008)
  • 4% Allowable Growth & Preschool – Increased per pupil funding by $222 per student for the 2009-2010 school year and includes $33 million to expand preschool (HF 2140, effective July 1, 2009)
  • Equalizing School Infrastructure Funding – local option sales taxes are replaced with a statewide sales tax to ensure each student gets their share of state money. The bill also provides over $200 million in property tax relief (HF 2663, effective July 1, 2008)
  • Higher Education Funding – Increased resources for universities to keep tuition low and provided an additional $8.5 million for community colleges. Increased funding for scholarships and tuition grant program (HF 2679, effective July 1, 2009)
  • Senior Year Plus – High school students will be able to earn up to a year of college credit before they graduate from school (HF 2679, effective July 1, 2008)
  • Student Loan Debt – Parents and students will get better information to help them make the right decision about financing higher education (HF 2690, effective July 1, 2008)