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Sen. Ragan: Not enough money for school kids in Iowa budget

This news story was published on February 10, 2018.
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Senator Amanda Ragan

The following is a legislative update from Senate Amanda Ragan of Mason City –

Iowa’s route to a high-skill, high-wage economy depends on great local schools that prepare students for work and life. Iowans have traditionally placed a high value on quality public schools for our kids.

Unfortunately, the Senate proposal for K-12 funding will reduce opportunities again this year. SF 2164 increases state funding for local schools by only 1 percent for the 2018-19 school year. The bill was approved by the full Senate February 7 on a 29-21 vote.

When you take into account inflation, per-student funding increased by only $33 between 2008 and 2015.  In fact, funding has increased only seven-tenths of 1 percent per year for seven years.

Iowa ranks 34th for percent of funds spent on K-12 in FY17, according to a National Association of State Budget Officers report.

Nearly 200 school board members, superintendents and Parents for Great Iowa Schools advocated for our kids’ education January 30 at the Statehouse. They said that they need a timely decision on state funding to plan and budget properly, and they wish we’d provide more than what is in the Senate bill so they can address local goals and needs.

They tell me schools increasingly can provide only the bare minimum with the funding they’re getting. This can be especially true in our rural areas, where the cost of busing students to the school doors really dips into the money available to educate them.

While this bill begins to address concerns about transportation expenses, it is another round of inadequate funding for our classrooms.

Here is what districts in our area would get in basic school funding under the bill:

School District State dollars
for 2018-19 school year
Change from 2017-18
school year
Aplington-Parkersburg 5,315,091 -174,595
Clarksville 2,206,053 -86,610
Central Springs 4,942,691 130,032
Belmond-Klemme 5,011,377 -141,158
Forest City 6,925,232 23,258
AGWSR 3,280,137 108,090
Clear Lake 6,015,664 95,506
Alden 1,630,875 -48,865
Waverly-Shell Rock 13,164,956 601,325
Cal 1,698,106 -16,444
West Fork 3,929,892 31,158
Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 5,373,919 -610,619
North Butler 3,529,648 -117,427
Nashua-Plainfield 3,773,657 5,238
Mason City 24,037,222 -724,411
Iowa Falls 7,309,620 105,753
Hampton-Dumont 8,510,815 -139,335
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 4,338,711 -4,002





Additional information

This is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan


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5 Responses to Sen. Ragan: Not enough money for school kids in Iowa budget

  1. Fund IWILL Reply Report comment

    February 11, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Instead of complaining about school funding all the time……

    Here’s a thought; why don’t you lead the charge for IWILL getting funded? Remember that? We….your constituents voted for and approved that measure as a constitutional amendment and it still isn’t being taken care of or enacted. What’s the hold up????

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 11, 2018 at 8:29 am

    You of course know that school board members have the authority to raise property taxes- Right ? You have to be a moron to think that these school board members are not hand picked (okay Hillery) voted in by the teachers unions. People are like livestock to them and must be controlled for their gain. $$$$$$$$

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 11, 2018 at 7:42 am

    You have to feed the base that puts you in office – LARGEST union in the World – PUBLIC SERVANT TEACHERS UNION – Jimmy Hoffa could have only wished for this in his mafia organization. These are the same people that fought AGAINST the property tax break for SMALL IOWA BUSINESSES – PUKE !

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 10, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Get the money back from Micich, Jeffrey, Minear, and Berg. And quit whining until you do!

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    February 10, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    As much as it hurts her she should learn to tell the truth for a change. The reason Mason City loses money is because there are less kids each year due to the declining population thanks to our city government.