DES MOINES, Iowa — Republicans in the Iowa Legislature are sending to Gov. Kim Reynolds a school funding bill that offers a 2.5% increase from the current year.
The Iowa Senate passed the bill Monday, adopting the House version of the bill approved on Friday.
The Senate had initially proposed a 2.25% increase but opted to accept the House bill. It now goes to Reynolds, who also had proposed 2.5% increase in her budget.
The bill would increase K-12 funding to just over $7,400 per pupil, up from the current $7,200. The cost is estimated to be around $172 million.
Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to amend the bill to increase state aid by 5%, or $300 million.
Sen. Jackie Smith, D-Sioux City, responded to the bill's advancement in a statement that read in part: "The Republican school funding bill means Iowa public schools will fall further behind. It means schools can’t hire and retain enough teachers."
Iowa State Education Association president Mike Beranek also expressed disappointment with the bill.
"Setting State Supplemental Aid (SSA) at 2.5% does not set Iowa’s public schools up for success," Beranek said. "We reject the idea that a $300 million corporate tax break is more important than additional funding for our public schools."
WATCH | Child care advocates seek relief from pandemic funding problems