Giving our kids a great education is the best way Iowa can compete for the jobs of the future.|(From Sen. Amanda Ragan)
Giving our kids a great education is the best way Iowa can compete for the jobs of the future. A great education comes from providing quality teachers and excellent classroom opportunities. However, without a modest increase in state aid, more than 1,500 teaching jobs will be cut before the end of this school year. A second year with no new money would force more layoffs and school closings.
Putting student achievement on the chopping block now makes no sense. Iowa’s economy is rebounding from the national recession. We have the resources to provide a cost-of-living increase to our local schools, and we should do it. Schools need to pay their bills, including the rising costs of transportation, utilities and other necessities.
I support a modest two percent increase (or $65 million) in basic state aid for our schools. The state’s reserve funds are at $600 million, and another $300 million is expected to be added to that balance by the end of this fiscal year.