It appears legislators and the governor are poised to promise Iowa’s K-through-12 public schools about 100 million dollars more in general state aid for the school year that starts in the fall of 2006. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says that’s a lot of money, but education is the state’s top priority. Rants says it’s his hope that lawmakers can get “rapid agreement” and quickly pass a bill that would promise schools that amount of money. Senate Co-President Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankeny, says there’s a possibility the promise of that new money for schools could be endorsed by the Senate next week. “If we reach an agreement, as you know, the Senate can move fairly quickly,” Lamberti told statehouse reporters. Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a democrat from Council Bluffs, says democrats won’t pick a fight over the plan to provide schools a four percent increase in general state aid — and he says that’s a good sign. Gronstal says both political parties, both the House and Senate, and the governor all agree. “It’s part of our new attitude and our new relationship in this evenly-divided institution to seek common ground,” Gronstal says.
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