If approved, Governor Branstad’s education budget will hurt Iowa’s k12 schools, according to a survey of Iowa’s superintendents.

“Superintendents told us the governor’s budget will send our schools in the wrong direction, resulting in fired teachers, crowded classes, outdated textbooks, and fewer choices for Iowa students,” said Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Approving the Governor’s budget would damage our state economy.  We can’t grow businesses and jobs without the educated, skilled workers businesses need.”

More than 60 percent of Iowa’s superintendents responded to the on-line survey.  Nearly all (99.5 percent) superintendents said they opposed Governor Branstad’s plan to increase basic state aid to local schools by less than one percent.  More than 60 percent said their districts would be forced to raise property taxes to make up the shortfall caused by the Governor’s plan.

“The Republican plan will hit rural schools especially hard,” said Rep. Patti Ruff of McGregor, Ranking Member of the House Education Committee. “After years of stagnant state funding, our school leaders are telling us the Republican plan will reduce opportunities for our kids. It’s time for the Legislature to step up this year and make sure every kid gets a world class education.”

In an effort to gather more input, we’ve requested a special public hearing that will be held on Monday, January 26 from 7pm -9 pm at the State Capitol. It’s an opportunity for Iowans to give direct testimony to legislators about the impact the Republican school funding plan would have on our kids and skilled workforce.

Iowans who would like to speak can sign up by calling 515-281-5129 or going on-line to https://www.legis.iowa.gov/committees/publicHearings?meetingID=17371&action=viewOnlineSignup. Testimony can also be submitted on-line at the link above if you are unable to attend in person.