The following is a legislative update from State Senator Waylon Brown, representing Iowa Senate District 26 which includes portions of Cerro Gordo, Mitchell, Worth, Floyd, Howard, Chickasaw and Howard counties:
One of the first things the Iowa Senate does each session is decide on the amount of additional funds for K-12 education in Iowa. We do this early on in the session so schools can set their budgets for the next year. What is also important is ensuring we designate a sustainable, responsible amount we know we can deliver. The dollars allocated in this bill are additional funds to the billions we already spend in K-12 education every year. All education funding in Iowa takes more than half of the state budget.
The bill also provides additional funds to continue our goal of leveling the playing field for students across the state. School districts in Iowa spend varying levels on each student in Iowa depending on the district and transportation costs. The additional funds designated in this bill continue addressing these costs to make sure the money we allocated for K-12 funding can be spent in the classroom.
Since Republicans have been in control, K-12 schools in Iowa have received an additional $400 million. Education is a priority! With the passage of this legislation, Iowa will be spending $7,413 per student, not even including the local and federal dollars that are also allocated to K-12 education.
The Senate released budget targets for Fiscal Year 2023 this week. The total budget target is $8.2 billion, the same amount Governor Reynolds released in her budget last month. The new spending highlights include:
– Net Increase in Spending – $76.8 million, a 0.9% increase
– Total New Spending – $283 million, a 3.5% increase
– New funds to K-12 schools – $159 million, 57% of all new spending
– Funds transportation equity and continues to address per pupil equity
– Provides an increase of $71.2 million for mental health funding, eliminates the county property tax levy, and provides property tax relief to Iowa families
This week, thousands of Iowans from across the state travelled to Des Moines for the high school boys state wrestling tournament. I was proud to watch Osage earn a third place finish in the 2A Dual Tournament Wednesday! The Osage Green was loud and proud. Good luck to state wrestlers from the district in the individual State Wrestling Tournament this weekend. You have put in the work, now it’s time to bring home the hardware!