Iowa superintendents overwhelmingly believe state lawmakers should quickly set basic school aid for schools next year as required by state law. 98% of the 214 superintendents who responded oppose the House Republican and Governor’s plan to wait until the 2015 legislative session to set allowable growth for the 2015-2016 school year.
“The message from superintendents to Republican legislators and Governor Branstad is clear – don’t delay school funding again,” said Rep. Sharon Steckman of Mason City, Ranking Member of the House Education Committee. “We’ve made some big changes in education and now we should provide financial stability so schools successfully enact those changes and make sure every kid graduates with the skills needed to land a good job.”
Asked how they would use a 6% increase in basic school funding proposed by Democratic legislators, superintendents said their top priorities would be expanding early literacy, implementing Iowa’s common core curriculum, and reducing class sizes.
“Democrats are focused on student achievement and that’s why the Iowa Senate will take action this week to increase school funding by 6%,” said Sen. Herman Quirmbach of Ames, Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Superintendents are waiting for the go ahead to do what Democrats and Republicans agree should be done: strengthen reading and writing skills in elementary students, reduce class sizes, and increase student achievement.”
Nearly every superintendent (99%) said education dollars would be used more effectively if lawmakers followed the law and set basic aid to education a year and a half in advance. The deadline to pass the bill this year is February 13. The Iowa Senate is expected to vote on school funding this Wednesday, February 5.
Comments from Iowa Superintendents
Frustrating that House Republicans can simply ignore the law with no consequences for their actions.
Northeast Iowa superintendent
I wish I could pick and choose the rules I wanted to follow!!
South Central Iowa superintendent
2% Allowable growth is a cut to education funding. Our cost go up over that.
4% is treading water. 6% would be the first real increase in years.
Eastern Iowa superintendent
We will cut staff without at least 4% growth. With the current 4% this year, we will be short -$52,000.00 in our budget. If I cannot count on 4% or better for next year’s budget, we will hand out pink slips this year. No games, no threats, but reality. We will also hand out a copy of the Governor’s budget plan.
PS, I am and have been a registered Republican for years, but I cannot continue to support the party bent on dismantling Iowa’s schools.
Northwest Iowa superintendent
Delaying allowable growth creates nothing but CHAOS for budget planning, program planning, contract negotiations, etc. How in the world are we supposed to be serious about implementing school improvement initiatives when we have no idea of the financial resources that are available?
North Central Iowa Superintendent
Sen. Herman Quirmbach of Ames, Chair of the Senate Education Committee and Rep. Sharon Steckman of Mason City, Ranking Member of the House Education Committee