Future of Iowa Ed Funding?

If the 2015 legislative session wasn’t enough evidence, consider the belief that teacher leadership money would supplement, not supplant, adequate supplemental state aid officially dispelled, as Radio Iowa reports from the Governor’s weekly news conference that Branstad favors more ‘specific, strategic’ earmarks in education spending.

Governor Terry Branstad says he’d like to earmark more state funding for schools rather than give districts a lump sum to spend as local officials see fit.

“Instead of the old way that we used to do things, we gave all this across-the-board money with no accountability and Iowa kind of stagnated while other states put focus on things that increased their standards and improved their student achievement,” Branstad says.

Fortunately, the Governor (or some policy person in Des Moines) knows just the right things to spend education funding on to improve student achievement, unlike local education professionals.

“We want to become best in America again and I think that’s going to take specific and strategic investments in education that focus on things that really make a difference,” Branstad says.

Branstad cites the $10 million he had suggested for programs to help minority students do better in school. Legislators did not earmark the money for that initiative. Branstad says it’s time for state policymakers “to move forward” and work together on “proven” programs, like the focus on science, technology, engineering and math courses.

If you are among those who wrote or called legislators to urge them to support a special session to override the Governor’s veto of one-time education funding, you may want to add earmarks (categorical funding) versus supplemental state aid to your list of things to talk to legislators about.

You may also want to save the date Saturday, January, 16, 2016:

Read more about Patrick Kearney’s organizing efforts at An Action Plan for Advocacy.