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Senator Amanda Ragan says funding is critical for schools as students prepare to head back to class


This news story was published on August 12, 2019.
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Amanda Ragan

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:

Iowa students are preparing to head back to school. I hope each and every one of them will get the education and opportunities they need for the ever-changing economy and world of work.

The best opportunities and brightest future depend on a strong investment in education. However, years of school funding that haven’t kept up with inflation may not be adequate to achieve that goal.

Iowa is competing with other states for a talented workforce and thriving businesses, but we are falling behind them when it comes to how much of the state budget we invest in K-12.

When funding doesn’t keep up with inflation, schools can’t pay their utilities, upgrade technology and textbooks, or fill teaching positions. The result: class sizes become unmanageable; students don’t get the attention they need; programs are eliminated; and school buildings close.

I’m hoping some of the additional steps the Legislature took this year will help ease the burden on local schools. They include:

  • Decreasing inequities in state funding for local schools (HF 307) with additional dollars for districts that have above-average costs per student and the highest busing expenses.
  • Improving school facilities (HF 546) by continuing to allocate a portion of state sales tax to help schools finance big improvements, especially for school safety and security projects.
  • Helping high school students get a jumpstart on job training (HF 546) with a new Career Academy Fund that allows them to earn college credit for academic, technical and work-based learning for high-skill fields.
  • Extending financial incentives for schools that share personnel and programs (HF 596). This allows schools to operate more efficiently without being forced to consolidate. After many years of lean school funding, sharing is becoming increasingly popular.

Students: Apply to be a legislative page

Each year, high school juniors and seniors work as pages at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session, which runs from January through April.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn firsthand about state government, work with elected officials and see how ideas for a better Iowa become law.

Job duties include responding to requests from legislators and staff, assisting during committee meetings, and distributing and organizing materials and supplies.

Pages are paid $9.14 per hour. They may also arrange for academic credit with their high school.

The application deadline for the 2020 session is October 4.

Get complete details and an application.

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12 Responses to Senator Amanda Ragan says funding is critical for schools as students prepare to head back to class

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 14, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Get rid of the overpaid and un-needed administrators and over paid teachers. Pay back the 2 million dollars you stole and there will be plenty of money.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 14, 2019 at 12:52 am

    have the top 10 overpaid school officals donate it all back and there would be plenty of money

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    The violence of the middle east during the 1970’s is now here. Terrorist, mass shooting, militarized police in jackboots, body armor, and assault rifles. The clash between the Jewish people and Muslims people have been imported to this country. As for schools…what was four rural schools is now combined into one. No births, no kids. Should be easy to figure out the budget now. But no. More money is what is needed. Always more. Forty years on and the sh!t show just keeps rolling on. Less the integrity, of course.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 14, 2019 at 12:29 am

      Great point!! Less schools. Less students. Less teachers. And they still ask for more money. For some reason people think “More money, the kids will learn more”. Maybe if the teachers would do their job, the kids would learn more, and it might not cost so much money.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    It’s never enough, is it Sharon. More money more money more money.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 13, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Her name is Amanda. You should have taken advantage of the great education Iowa provides.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        August 14, 2019 at 12:31 am

        Amanda, Sharon. They are so tied together at the hip (or the pocketbook) they both answer to either one.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Stop sending billions to Israel and other countries that can take care of themselves. As long as the US helps them they have no incentive to make it on their own. Then take that money and give it to where it is needed here in our own country.

    • Avatar

      Allen Reply Report comment

      August 14, 2019 at 8:10 am

      I agree that we should stop giving money to foreign countries. Then I heard on the news that if we stop giving foreign countries money, it will affect our national security. So, what are we doing, paying countries not to attack us.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2019 at 9:19 am

    99.99999% of what is wrong with our country is dumbasses like you.

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2019 at 6:06 am

    *99.99999% of what is wrong with our country on this date. Liberal teachers, professors, “college educated” entitled children, overpaid and not needed administrators.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2019 at 6:05 am

    They have more than enough money. Get rid of overpaid administrators and overpaid teachers and there will be plenty of money.