Iowa Governor Considers School Funding Bill

The Associated Press

Des Moines, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds is considering a bill that would provide a $36.5 million increase to public schools in Iowa but will result in higher property taxes in more than 100 school districts where parents kept young children home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans called the funding level predictable and reliable while Democrats criticized it as too little at a time when the state has a large budget surplus and could afford more. The final agreement between House and Senate Republicans increases base state aid by 2.4%, slightly less than the 2.5% recommended by Reynolds.

The funding would leave 137 school districts with $71 million less than the current year which means they must rely on local property taxes to make up the difference. The shortfall is the result of declining enrollments caused by about 7,000 children staying home during the pandemic.

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