Evans Supports Bill To Give Teachers $200 A Year For Classroom Supplies, But Says It Needs Work

Des Moines, Iowa — A bill that’s cleared a Senate subcommittee would require Iowa schools to create expense accounts to help teachers pay for classroom supplies.

Senator Kerry Gruenhagen, a Republican from Walcott, is the bill’s sponsor.

Under the bill, new teachers would get 500 dollars a year. The program would cost eight million dollars statewide for the next academic year and schools would have to shift money from their general budget to cover the expense accounts. Melissa Peterson, a lobbyist for the Iowa State Education Association, says the teachers’ union isn’t registered in opposition to the bill, but is concerned there’s no new state funding for the program.

Margaret Buckton, a lobbyist for Rural School Advocates of Iowa and the Urban Educators Network, says not all classroom needs are equal.

Senator Lynn Evans, a Republican from Aurelia who’s a retired superintendent, agreed to advance the bill, but he says it needs work.

Evans represents all of O’Brien, Osceola, and Buena Vista counties, as well as parts of Cherokee and Clay counties.

Senator Sarah Trone-Garriot, a Democrat from West Des Moines, notes the bill calls for any money teachers don’t spend on classroom supplies to be redirected to raises for all teachers in the district.

According to a national non-profit that helps raise money for classroom supplies, teachers spent an average of 860 dollars of their own money on supplies for this current school year.