DES MOINES, Iowa — How much should Iowa lawmakers allocate in increased funding for public school students for the coming year? Originally, there were three different Republican proposals. But on Wednesday, that became two.
- Senate Republicans proposed a 2% per student increase.
- House Republicans pitched a 3% per student increase.
- Governor Kim Reynolds’ budget included a 2.5% increase.
Wednesday afternoon, Republicans on the senate education committee amended the original bill and approved a 3% funding increase, matching the proposed increase in the house.
Senator Tim Kraayenbrink, a Fort Dodge Republican, said he supports public schools but the proposal is a reflection of conservative priorities in recent years by his party.
“Spending principles that we’ve pretty much been locked into for the past 6 or 7 years.”
Kraayenbrink was the only member of his caucus to speak during the meeting. Several Democrats spoke in opposition.
“If Governor Reynolds was serious about funding public schools, now would be the time to prove it,” said Senator Claire Celsi, a West Des Moines Democrat. “This (the 2% funding increase proposal) is nothing. It’s a nothing burger. It’s not adequate in any way, shape or form.”
Senator Herman Quirmbach, an Ames Democrat, urged legislators to fund a higher increase. “We need to do better for our kids,” he said.