A public policy group has issued a report that says the state’s handling of budget woes has hurt education at all levels. Iowa Policy Project researcher Elaine Ditsler says Iowa hasn’t managed the budget problems as well as other states. She says other states have also face budget problems like Iowa’s but still found ways to invest in education so their K-12 programs weren’t impacted like Iowa’s. Ditsler says the K-12 schools have been squeezed from all directions with across-the-board cuts in the middle of the school year in 2002 and 2004, slow growth in allowable spending, and sluggish growth in property values. She says spending is below the level it was in 1998 and 1999 in terms of real spending adjusted for inflation. Ditsler says the report notes double-digit percentage declines in state funding for the three state universities from 2001 to 2004, with higher costs forcing more reliance on temporary or parttime staff, higher student/faculty ratios and spiraling tuition increases.
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