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GOP Lawmakers Wrestle With School Spending Decision

Des Moines, Iowa — There’s disagreement among Republicans at the statehouse over how many state tax dollars to forward to Iowa’s public schools for the next academic year. Republicans in the Iowa Senate favor a two-point-one percent increase in per pupil spending. Senator Amy Sinclair is a Republican from Allerton.

Republican Governor Kim Reynolds and Republicans in the House favor slightly more, a two-and-a-half percent increase. Representative Cecil Dolecheck of Mount Ayr and the other Republicans in the House voted for the higher number earlier this week.

Democrats, who are in the minority in the legislature, argued the state can afford to spend more on schools, and should do so. Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, says the state’s facing a crisis in public education.

Senator Julian Garrett, a Republican from Indianola, says more money isn’t always the answer.

Senator Eric Giddens, a Democrat from Waterloo, says more than a third of Iowa school districts will get LESS money from the state next year because their enrollment is shrinking.

Representative Ras Smith, a Democrat from Waterloo, says Iowa schools are falling behind.

Iowa school districts must certify their spending plans for the next academic year by April 15th, so this state funding decision is key for local decision makers, Iowa school boards and school administrators.

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