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School funding compromise reached by lawmakers; Democrats fume


This news story was published on March 22, 2016.
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Iowa capitol

Iowa capitol

DES MOINES – Iowa school boards across the state will know how much state aid they’ll receive for next year’s budgets thanks to funding agreement of 2.25% reached between Democrats and Republicans in Des Moines.

Democrats had sought 4% and Republicans 2% before the compromise was reached.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Dr. Andy McGuire released the following statement on today’s education funding deal:

“I want to thank Democrats in both the House and Senate for fighting to make public education the legislature’s top priority. Unfortunately, their hard work can only go so far when facing a Republican caucus determined to underfund our schools and leave our students and teachers without the resources they deserve. This is why Iowa Democrats are more determined than ever to elect more Democrats this November, take control of both the Senate and the House, and fully fund our schools once again.”

Meanwhile, Democrat Sharon Wille Steckman of Mason City was not thrilled with the outcome of negotiations between the two parties.

Sharon Steckman

Sharon Steckman

Not a good day for education at the Capitol. Conference committee voted on agreement….far below the needs of schools, 2.25% For the last six years our public schools have received the lowest funding levels in Iowa history and, unfortunately, the deal this week is no different.Delays and stagnant state investment in Iowa public schools have real consequences — higher class sizes, outdated technology, and old textbooks for kids. It also means at least 1/3 of Iowa school districts will be on budget guarantee and will be forced to raise property taxes next year.

Because of the House majority inaction the legislature is still two years behind in setting basic funding for public schools, often called State Supplemental Aid. Public schools have been ignored to make more room for over $750 million in corporate tax cuts the last several years.
The deal pushed today will reduce opportunities for 560,000 kids in Iowa public schools. I believe our public schools should be the top priority of the Iowa Legislature again. Not a good day for education at the Capitol.

The Iowa Association of School Boards also was not keen on the funding level agreement.

Local budget decisions are likely to be very tough ones. From a state perspective, the decision to set supplemental state aid (SSA) at 2.25 percent allocates more than $88 million more in state funding to regular school aid. From a local perspective, this investment comes down to growth of $145 per student, or about 80 cents per child, per day of the school year.
Schools facing enrollment shifts are especially impacted. Seventy-two districts will see no growth or a decline in regular school aid. Another 134 will receive less than 2.25 percent growth in regular school aid funding.

Local school boards see far more need in Iowa schools than this funding will support. It is not enough to ensure a rich, diverse curriculum, attract the highest caliber employees in the classroom, provide instructional aides, nurses and guidance counselors, and ensure low class sizes, textbooks and digital resources.

There is still a considerable amount of work to be done before this session is over, including a decision on FY 2018 state aid, funding for early literacy or a delay until funding is provided, funding for a new state assessment, and addressing the need to extend school infrastructure funding.

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23 Responses to School funding compromise reached by lawmakers; Democrats fume

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 24, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Guess we’re fortunate to live in America and have a choice of the careers we choose!

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 24, 2016 at 7:17 am

    looks like most of the people are feeling the pain of teachers being over paid. twenty dollars per hour for time on job would be more then the avg. worker makes

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 24, 2016 at 6:38 am

    The best jobs -bar none – are public servants/government jobs . – These people are under the premise that the economy is great and if you listen to obummer as he spends our hard earned tax money like he’s prince george. The private sector is and has been in deep do do for over a decade thanks to your fancy trade agreements and worthless immigration laws – if any of you pubic servants ever lost your job (we know that cannot happen with your government unions) YOU would NEVER not make it in the REAL WORLD.

  4. Avatar

    anon Reply Report comment

    March 23, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I still haven’t received a decent response as to what you think a teacher is worth. $15,000 a year?. $25,000? , minimum wage? You are quick to criticize but pretty slow to come up with a solution.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 23, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Hey anon, what do you think a Superintendent is worth i. e. one with the performance of ours. Do you think the Superintendent should pay the ppel? Do you think the Superintendent should pay the ISSL?

    • Avatar

      Bean Counter Reply Report comment

      March 23, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      Teachers should be paid on the basis of outcomes and results. We have the hig!hest paid teachers in the world who do not achieve even minimum standards for most students. In my view the sky is the limit but you can be performing at rock bottom, hiding behind the union and tenure, with generous salary increases, IPERS and a cushy paid summer vacation. Time to get real.

      • Avatar

        anon Reply Report comment

        March 24, 2016 at 7:37 am

        Basing it on outcomes makes the teachers responsible for the parenting choices made by many of those who choose to have children. If I choose to let my child stay home from school because I need help with day care, blame the teachers. If I choose to take my child on a vacation for a week and a half while school is in session, blame the teachers. If I don’t care if my child stays out all night and sleeps all day (in school) blame the teachers.
        If teachers should be paid based on outcomes, then why not pay all professionals based on outcomes? Dentists and doctors? What about police? Legislators? Legislators, well maybe.

        • Avatar

          The Science Guy Reply Report comment

          March 24, 2016 at 3:32 pm

          I’m a professional….. and if I don’t produce results I’m done. BTW I could use the same excuses you have outlined but in the end the buck stops with me. Accountability in the teaching profession amounts to finger pointing as you have so well illustrated. It’s always the other guy.

          • Avatar

            Bodacious

            March 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm

            And if every child who comes into a teacher’s classroom fails, then it is the teacher’s fault. I am not pointing fingers. I am saying, given what comes into the classroom, teachers do a great job. If you are a professional, let’s say a stock broker, and all that you get is people who have $100 to invest, it would be hard to produce results that would satisfy your employer. And if you are a professional, you owe that opportunity to a teacher.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 23, 2016 at 7:55 am

    – You are a greedy bunch of fat cats.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 22, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Invite you in anytime to try your day in the classroom!!!

  7. Avatar

    Concerned Reply Report comment

    March 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Money would go further if all the teachers weren’t making over $60k for 9 months of work! They definitely are not worth that!

    • Avatar

      anon Reply Report comment

      March 22, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Apparently you have no friends who are teachers or know a teacher. If you did, you would know the 9 months a year is bunk.

      • Avatar

        Sad But True Reply Report comment

        March 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Anon is correct, if you factor in Spring Break and Christmas, its closer to 8 months

    • Avatar

      anon Reply Report comment

      March 22, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      I would also like to know what you would consider a ‘fair’ wage for someone in the teaching profession?

      • Avatar

        Sad But True Reply Report comment

        March 23, 2016 at 2:33 pm

        how about 200.00 a day for every day they are there from 8.00am till 4.30 pm. That would be a higher wage than 80% of everybody else

        • Avatar

          Bodacious Reply Report comment

          March 24, 2016 at 11:47 am

          Do they get overtime when they work longer than that? How about Saturdays? Sundays? How many days a year do you work, if you work at all.

          • Avatar

            Sad But True

            March 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

            would love to see them punch a time clock and receive a hourly wage. It would be staggering

          • Avatar

            Bodacious

            March 24, 2016 at 1:28 pm

            I think you have missed the point. You think teachers work a 40 hour week – if that. You, as was pointed out in an earlier post, apparently have no acquaintances who teach. Ask a teacher about their work week. Ask them if they have to bring work home. Ask them if they have used their own money for supplies for their classroom. I don’t know where you work but you probably don’t have to bring work home. I just took my car to get it serviced at the dealer. Hourly charge? $95. I went to the doctor last week. Charge? $240 and I saw him for 10 minutes. You wouldn’t last a week in the typical school today. And you would feel you were underpaid for the time you did spend on that job.

  8. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    March 22, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Maybe it is time to cut management and teacher salaries to the point the money actually goes to educate the children.

    • Avatar

      anon Reply Report comment

      March 22, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      What point would that be? How much do you think a teacher is worth?

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        Less than the amount the dumbocrats want to pay them. I’m against paying for votes with other peoples money.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 23, 2016 at 7:09 am

        They should be paid the same as the private sector and that includes their inflated pensions. They should have a 401K just like everyone else.