Iowa schools are growing nervous, as legislators have yet to set the level of state school aid for the coming school year. Republicans who control the legislature’s debate agenda say it’s been very difficult to make the decision. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City is privately discussing the issue with fellow republicans this afternoon.Rants says if schools get more money, every other area of state government will get cut. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says they can’t make the decision without sketching out the rest of the more than five billion dollar state budget plan. House Democrat Leader Dick Myers of Iowa City has a message for republicans. He says they should quit messing around with trivial stuff that doesn’t matter.Myers says republicans can’t make a decision on school aid, but did find time to debate whether English should be the state’s official language. Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says without a decision, schools are in limbo.Two years ago, Iowa schools were promised 156-million more state dollars for the 2002/2003 academic year, but state budget restraints mean lawmakers are paring that down. Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack has recommended about 60-million in additional state aid to schools. Schools say they’ll be forced to fire teachers if there’s no firm answer soon from statehouse policymakers as to how much money school’ll receive. Republicans say they might make their decision on state aid for schools on Monday.
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