Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Association of School Boards has released a statement saying they are opposed to Iowa House Study Bill 656 because they say it will seriously compromise Area Education Agencies’ ability to adequately deliver services to students and school districts across the state.
House leaders say that House Study Bill 656 is the standing appropriations bill. Unlike other line items in the state budget, they say there are a series of state appropriations that are established in either the Iowa Code or Iowa Constitution. These appropriations are known as standing appropriations. The standing appropriations bill proposes changes to those appropriations.
The Iowa Association of School Boards’ Phil Jeneary says the bill would cut Area Education Agency funding by $5 million – in addition to the ongoing $15 million reduction in their budgets. He says this effectively wipes out any budget increase generated for special education support from the 2.25 percent supplemental state aid rate and reduces special education support funding by $500,000.
Jeneary says Area Education Agencies are an important educational partner to public and accredited, nonpublic schools across the state. They provide services that improve the learning outcomes and well-being of all children and youth in Iowa. He says that the proposed reduction in the AEA budget is a serious cut that will impact students, teachers and administrators who rely on their services.
The Iowa Association of School Boards not only represents all the public school districts in the state, but also the Area Education Agencies and the state’s community colleges.