Davenport’s school superintendent says the Iowa Legislature is forcing him to break the law. The school district is in a budget crunch because the state restricts how much the district can spend — even if it has the money in the bank.
Superintendent Art Tate says a long outdated state funding formula values a Davenport student at $175 less than the value for students in more than 170 other districts that receive the highest per-student rate in Iowa.
Tate announced at the school board meeting that he’ll avoid budget cuts by using cash reserves, spending more money than the state has authorized. That’s a violation of state law. Tate says Davenport now has cash reserves of $29 million, and the state prevents the district from meeting the needs of its students.
Tate says he will be following the example of the Iowa Legislature, which did not provide districts with a state supplemental aid amount by February 12th.
(Reporting by Phil Roberts, Davenport)