Democrats and Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate are debating their proposed increases for K-12 public school funding, though none of them quite reach the mark of what school administrators would like to see.
School Administrators of Iowa have voiced their support for a 3.75 percent increase in supplemental state aid (SSA) for fiscal year 2021. Senate Republicans have proposed a 2.1 percent increase, about the same as last year’s, and House Republicans have proposed a 2.5 percent increase. House Democrats would like to see a three percent increase.
Panorama Superintendent Shawn Holloway predicts the final outcome to land in the two percent range, “What that means for about a third of the schools in the state is they’ll be in the position where they’ll get a budget guarantee, which means for those third of the districts that have declining enrollment to the point where they meet the budget guarantee, then really what they’re getting is one percent new money. So obviously that’s not enough for school districts to continue to maintain current programming and those types of things, so it makes for a tough situation.”
Panorama’s student enrollment has seen some slight decreases in the last few years, though they predict a 20 student drop in fiscal years 2023 and 2024. Holloway expects the legislature to come to a conclusion on SSA in the next week, though the district awaits Governor Kim Reynold’s signature before they can begin staff salary negotiations. You can hear more from Holloway during Thursday’s Let’s Talk Guthrie County program at raccoonvalleyradio.com.