Two superintendents testified at the statehouse Monday afternoon, urging legislators to provide an increase in general state aid to public K-12 schools. 

Madrid Superintendent Brian Horn said his district is a growing and will be hard-pressed by the proposal Republicans are making that would see no increase in general state spending for schools. 

“We are not set in a situation to be able to handle that zero percent…fund our current staffing even though that’s been lowered over the last year with the cuts we’ve faced, and also do justice to our kids to purchase what we need to purchase in our curriculum and other areas,” he told lawmakers.

In Jefferson-Scranton where enrollment is declining, Superintendent Tim Christensen says if state funding over the next two years is frozen at this year’s level, he’ll have to lay off eight teachers. “Looking at increase in salaries for faculty, staff, looking at all the other increases that go with that — insurance, IPERS — we would be looking at approximately $400,000 that we would need to figure out how we would come up with cuts to adjust to that,” he told legislators. 

After the two superintendents spoke, Democrats on the Senate Education approved a bill which would provide a two percent increase in state aid to schools.