Republicans slashed over $115 million from an education plan already approved by the Senate today in the Iowa House. Legislators said the latest round of Republican budget cuts in education will slow efforts to grow Iowa’s skilled workforce.

“Iowa students already carry one of the highest debt loads in the country and the Republican education budget will put an even bigger burden on middle class families and students,” said Rep. Cindy Winckler of Davenport, the Ranking Member of the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

“We need to grow our skilled workforce by encouraging more Iowans to continue their education or training after high school. Unfortunately, the Republican plan approved today will make it more difficult for Iowans to continue their education and get a good-paying job,” added Winckler.

House Republicans scrapped a bill approved by the Iowa Senate and replaced it with their own version, which slashed funding by $115 million for state universities, community colleges, tuition assistance and the Iowa Department of Education. Under the Republican plan, community colleges would receive $25 million less and Iowa’s three public universities would receive $65 million less.

The bill, Senate File 2321, now returns to the Iowa Senate.