Governor Tom Vilsack is offering some comfort to Iowa school officials who’re wary of more cuts in state aid payments to schools. Some Republican legislators have said there may be a need to cut education funding in the coming year. Vilsack says there will be difficult choices, but Vilsack says he’ll do everything he can to “protect and preserve” state money for schools. Vilsack, who was just elected to a second term, says he always wants education to be the priority of state government, and he says as long as he’s governor, it will be. Vilsack spoke yesterday to hundreds of school board members at the Iowa Association of School Boards annual convention in Des Moines, and he did sound a note of caution.Vilsack says he was reluctant to speak at the convention because there’s not a great deal of certainty about the state’s economic condition, but he says Iowa while has challenges, they’re not as severe or significant as in most other states.