Governor Branstad did not include money for the new program in his budget outline and legislators aren’t setting aside money in their budget plan either.
“If it’s not going to be funded, then it’s not going to occur,” says Senator Brian Schoenjahn, a Democrat from Arlington who leads a legislative committee that drafts education spending plans.
The panel has tentatively decided to delay the summer school mandate, as well as the requirement that third graders repeat the grade if they aren’t competent readers.
The estimated cost of summer school for lagging readers is $10 million. Governor Branstad argues schools can wait until next year to get the money and still get the program up and running by June of 2018. Schoenjahn taught in Starmont Schools for 33 years and he says legislators from both parties disagree.
The proposed focus on third grade reading proficiency was part of an education reform plan the governor signed into law three years ago.