North Iowa Lawmakers Differ on School Funding
Thursday, the Iowa House voted on funding public schools for next year to increase by 2.5%, a package which equates to about an extra $186 per student.
Democratic lawmakers, like District 52 State Representative Todd Prichard (D) of Charles City, proposed a 5% increase in funding for an additional investment of $300 million next school year to make sure every kid gets a quality education.
Prichard says the $300 million investment equates to the exact amount offered to corporations by Governor Reynolds in her recent tax cut plan.
The bill now goes to the Iowa Senate, where Republicans have been proposing a 2.25% increase in school spending. District 26 State Senator Waylon Brown ( R ) of Osage says either number from he and his fellow Republicans will be fiscally responsible.
The House also passed a bipartisan school funding bill to appropriate over $19 million to address inflation and workforce shortage.
Democrats say the state can afford to do more as Prichard noted that state funding for public schools has been at historical lows over the past decade during which 134 schools have closed. He added that Iowa currently ranks 39th out of 50 in state per student funding and is $1,280 below the national average.