On February 20th, 2019, Governor Kim Reynolds signed two bills into law that will help K-12 education going forward. This has increased the amount of money that the state will put towards education.
Governor Reynolds approved for ninety million dollars to be put towards K-12 education in the state of Iowa.
Reynolds said in an interview with The Des Moines Register, “This new education funding helps us continue moving forward to get our young people ready for the challenges of the 21st century economy, and that’s why education is and will continue to be a top priority.”
She also thanked legislatures for passing the funding bills so quickly so that schools are more certain about their budgets.
Reynolds said in an interview with The Des Moines Register, “Having these bills to me in February will definitely help Iowa school districts better prepare for the next school year.”
Iowa’s schools have until April 15th to approve budgets for the 2019-2020 school year.
According to The Gazette (which is based out of Cedar Rapids), the bills include things such as more money for districts with high transportation costs and for per-pupil spending levels.
Iowa Democrats have said that a two percent increase in the budget is not enough for Iowa school districts. Iowa Democrats fought for a three percent increase to go towards education. Senator Claire Celsi, a Democrat from Des Moines, stood in the Capitol rotunda near the signing ceremony with signs that read “2% is not an investment” and that a three percent increase was not too much to ask for.
The Gazette says that Senator Amy Sinclair, a Republican from Allerton and the chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee said, “Iowa prioritizes education. The bill before you is a responsible and sustainable measure that will continue the great history that we have here.”
According to Governor Reynolds’ website, Iowa is ranked number one in high school graduation rates, third in four-year college graduation rates, and fifth in education overall.
According to The Sioux City Journal, Senator Jack Whitver, the Republican Majority Leader from Ankeny says,“We’re confident that the amount that we’re committing here today is sustainable. We will be able to fund it and it shows the priority that we have for K-12 education.”
The Sioux City Journal continues with a quote from Linda Upmeyer, who is the Republican Iowa House Speaker from Clear Lake, “At the end of the day, this is a big increase. We’re talking about serious money. We’ve made a serious attempt to increase revenue to schools and also leave revenue for other priorities of Iowans. This is a significant portion of the budget. We still have to discuss regents and community colleges, so we’ll continue with our education work. I think it’s a big commitment. It’s a serious commitment.”
This legislative season Iowa’s House, Senate and Governor are taking a look at what is really important in Iowa: the education of the people. With the increase in money going to the schools, hopefully it will make a big difference in school districts across the state.