School Start Debate Resolved; On To Funding

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa schools will be able to start fall classes as early as Monday, August 24th this year. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal withdrew his hold on a bill that will set August 23rd as the earliest date schools may start fall classes and the governor will sign the bill into law.
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Last December Governor Branstad’s administration told superintendents they would no longer get waivers to start school early — meaning schools would have to start fall classes during the week in which September 1st falls. A bill that would set “on or after August 23rd” as a compromise school start date passed both the House and Senate, but Gronstal objected to the bill’s failure to allow year-round high schools in the future. Gronstal had put a hold on the bill last week.

Gronstal says lawmakers are now focusing on trying to get adequate funding for K-12 education.

Branstad says the state’s facing “some difficult financial circumstances” and cannot afford the four percent increase in general state school aid that Gronstal and his fellow Democrats propose.

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