SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A few hours after Iowa’s House of Representatives approved a 3% increase in public school funding, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds had signed the bill into law. 

Earlier this year, Gov. Reynolds proposed a 2.5% increase and while lawmakers approved a 3% increase, local schools don’t see it as a windfall.

“On the positive side, it’s the second largest increase we’ve had for Public Ed in the last 14 years, so that’s on the positive side. But it’s also disappointing in the fact that inflation is running much higher than that,” said Ken Slater, Hinton Community School superintendent.

The increase in funds would bring Iowa’s general fund spending on public schools to $7,635 per student. For the 2021 to 2022 school year, the Iowa Department of Education spent $7,227 per student, a more than $400 increase in spending per student.

“I mean, we threw around 5%, but we just couldn’t make it work and still be fiscally responsible. Well, we thought well if the House is going 3[%], we’ll do 3% and it’s better than what the governor was proposing. Is it a be all, end all fix for everything? Of course not,” said Rocky De Witt, Republican Iowa State Senator, District 1.

The 3% increase would equate to roughly $107 million in new state money. However, some public school districts are saying that isn’t enough.

“Let’s just consider teacher salaries and they will get a minimum of, by Iowa code, of 3% and that gobbles up a lot of that money. The 3% is a little over $2 million that, at a minimum, that the teachers will receive an increase, which is deserved. Then we have about a million dollars to do everything else that we need to do,” said Rod Earleywine, interim superintendent for Sioux City Community School District (SCCSD).

“I don’t want to say it doesn’t help out, because it is higher than what we’ve received in the past, it’s just not what we’re looking at. In order to keep up with inflation I think our food inflation was like at 8.4%, so 3% doesn’t come close to meet up that need,” said Slater.

The education funding increase goes into effect July 1 and applies to the fiscal year 2024.