House Republicans have offered a major concession in the ongoing debate over an education reform plan.
House Republicans have been suggesting a two percent increase in general state aid to schools, while Senate Democrats voted for a four percent hike in each of the next two years. Republicans now say they are willing to up the ante to the equivalent of a four percent increase in both years — but they are insisting that Democrats accept all the other parts of the education reform plan Republicans crafted.
Democrats say they are pleased the GOP has “finally acknowledged” Iowa schools need the extra money, but Democrats refuse to accept all the other policy components of the Republicans’ education reform plan. Democrats say Republicans merely offered a “my-way-or-the-highway approach.”
Governor Branstad, who backs the Republican offer, says they were just trying to meet the Democrats’ “price tag” for education reform.
A 10-member conference committee of House and Senate members has been meeting this week to talk about the competing plans for education reform.