In just the first week of the 2010 legislative session, the Iowa House has already approved a package of education initiatives to strengthen k-12 schools and protect local property taxpayers.  Governor Culver signed the legislation just two hours after it passed the House.

“Despite these tough times, we won’t give up on ensuring every kid in Iowa gets a quality education. The initiative we approved today could bring up to $175 million to Iowa k-12 schools to improve student achievement and make sure our kids graduate with the skills they need to compete in today’s global economy,” said State Representative Roger Wendt of Sioux City, who chairs the House Education Committee.

Senate File 2033 includes a host of changes to Iowa’s K-12 school system to help Iowa compete for up to $175 million in Race to the Top funds. Another bill approved, House File 2030, will benefit Iowa property tax payers by ensuring school districts spend down their cash reserves before raising property taxes.

“Middle class families are struggling to make ends meet and this will help ease the burden on Iowa tax payers. It’s just common sense for school districts to spend down their reserves before asking property taxpayers to foot the bill,” said State Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City.

Requested by schools last fall, two other bills approved by the Iowa House on Friday will delay setting the school aid formula schools by one year, instead of setting it two years in advance.