Democrats in the Iowa Senate next week will start drafting legislation that would forward more state tax dollars to public schools for the 2015/2016 school year. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal says the State of Iowa is about $1500 behind the national average in per pupil spending.
“We’re well below the midpoint in terms of the support we provide for students in this state and we’ve been slipping,” Gronstal says.
House Speaker Leader Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha — the top Republican in the legislature — says Republicans won’t take up the Democrats’ school spending proposal.
“Here’s the deal: we’re not going back to the days where Governor Culver was making all kinds of promises and then turning around doing across-the-board cuts,” Paulsen says. “That 10 percent across-the-board cut that he did was one of the most devastating things that happened to schools.”
In the fall of 2009 as state tax revenue started to fall because of the recession, Governor Culver imposed a 10 percent across-the-board cut in the entire state budget, including state aid to schools.