House Democrats said new budget documents released today show House Republicans aren’t interested in growing Iowa’s skilled workforce or education reform efforts.

“The Republican education budget is a failure for Iowa students and the future of our economy,” said House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines. “Now more than ever, the strength of Iowa’s economy is dependent on a highly-skilled workforce that can compete with workers from around the globe. The Republican budget guarantees that fewer Iowans will get the skills they need to land a good-paying job.”

The budget documents produced by the non-partisan Legislative Services Bureau show Republicans cutting over $80 million from Governor Branstad’s proposal. In addition to zeroing out $17 million for education improvements requested by the Governor, Republicans also slashed $62 million in support for students at community colleges, state universities, and private colleges.

“After working together for months, I’m deeply disappointed that House Republicans won’t provide a single dollar for education reform efforts,” said State Representative Sharon Steckman of Mason City, Ranking Member of the House Education Committee. “While I’m committed to working together to improve education, this is a devastating blow to our efforts this year.”

“With Iowa students already carrying the 4th highest debt load in the country, the Republican budget puts one more burden on the middle class while putting college out of reach for too many Iowans,” said Rep. Cindy Winckler of Davenport, the lead Democrat on the education budget committee.