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No need to hurt local students when Iowa has a billion dollars in the bank

Just 6.5% of existing savings will meet local school needs next year. Personal point by Senator Daryl Beall of Fort Dodge.|Personal point by Senator Daryl Beall of Fort Dodge.

“One. Billion. Dollars. One BILLION dollars.

“There’s the number Iowans must to keep in mind during this budget debate. One billion dollars.

“That’s how much Iowa will have in the bank when we start the next fiscal year on July 1.

“That’s according to State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald. This is the guy who counts the money and protects Iowa’s AAA bond rating. This week he released a statement to report that this budget will end the year on June 30 earlier this week with 400 MILLION extra, 100 million more than previously thought.

“That $400 million dollar ending balance, plus the $600 million in the state’s reserve funds, mean we will have one billion dollars in the bank at the start of the next fiscal year.

“What does that one billion dollars mean? It means the Governor and Republicans are not being straight when Iowans when they claim the state must freeze support for local schools and shift costs onto local property taxpayers.

“Just 6.5% of one billion dollars would pay for a 2% increase in state aid to local schools and fully fund preschool for four-year-olds.

“In other words, we could fund our local schools and still have 935 million dollars in the bank.”

Senator Beall can be reached at daryl.beall@legis.iowa.gov or at (515) 573-7889.

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