Debate over how much state funding will increase for Iowa schools next year will continue this week in the state legislature.
Senate Republicans are proposing a 2.25% increase in general state support of public schools, slightly less than the 2.5% increase Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has proposed. Public school advocates say neither figure provides enough to deal with the impact of inflation on expenses and to keep wages competitive for teachers and other school staff.
House District 52 State Representative Todd Prichard (D) of Charles City says school funding goes hand-in-hand with retaining good teachers, which has become challenging.
Democrats are lobbying for a 5% increase in school funding.
Last week, Governor Reynolds said her recommendation is “reasonable” and noted that, since school districts hadn’t spent some $793 million in federal pandemic relief money as of the end of December, “I don’t think it’s a lack of funding that we’re providing for our K-12 education.”
Lawmakers are required to make a school funding decision 30 days after the legislature convenes, which was January 10th.