A bill providing public schools extra money to cover Covid-related costs has won bipartisan approval in the Iowa House.
Twenty-seven million dollars would be split among all districts, but Republican Representative Dustin Hite of New Sharon says districts that had the most classes in-person would receive the largest share of funding.
“We all know in this room that kids in school is the best learning environment for the vast majority of our students in the state of Iowa, but this year is took a little bit extra to get them in the room and that’s what this bill does,” Hite says. “It helps with that extra cost.”
About two dozen Democrats voted against the bill. Representative Sharon Steckman, a Democrat from Mason City, says the funding distribution ignores the expenses of hybrid and remote learning.
“This has been a tough year for our kids,” Steckman said. “…No matter what plan their school used and no matter how Covid affected their area, our kids had no choice, yet the funding in this bill is rewarding kids based on zip code.”
The House plan does give a financial break to districts that had buildings damaged in the August derecho and could not hold classes until repairs were done. Those districts will receive a full stipend, as if they had in-person classes during the entire fall semester.
The bill now goes to the Senate for review.