Last Monday, Rep. Megan Jones (R-Sioux Rapids) voted to provide Iowa school districts with an additional $89.3 million in new funding for the 2019-20 school year.
The Senate approved the bill on Wednesday. Gov. Kim Reynolds plans to sign the education funding bill on Tuesday.
The approved legislation included a significant increase in general state aid as well as $7.8 million in targeted funding for rural schools to reduce disproportionately high transportation costs and $2.9 million in funding to reduce a long-standing inequity in the school funding formula by $5 per student.
In total, the funding package passed by the House will bring state investment in K-12 education to more than $3.3 billion annually, an increase of $865 million since the 2011-12 school year.
Over that same time, 3,100 new teachers have been hired to staff Iowa classrooms and the student-teacher ratio has decreased every year even while enrollment has grown.
School districts in House District 2 will receive an additional $710,144 in transportation funding for the 2019-20 school year.
“This K-12 funding package clearly demonstrates our commitment to Iowa schools,” said Jones. “I will continue to make our local schools a priority and will look for additional ways we improve the educational experience for Iowa’s kids.”
Gov. Reynolds released the following statement after the Iowa Senate voted to advance preK-12 education funding:
“With the Iowa Legislature’s approval of historic preK-12 school funding, we can continue moving forward in preparing our young people for the challenges of a 21st century economy,” said Reynolds. “I look forward to signing this legislation shortly after it reaches my desk because it’s a critical piece for our local schools districts to have in place as they plan for the next school year. Without question, Iowans are the true winners as a result of this year’s record investment in education.”
Feature photo (provided): Rep. Megan Jones (R-Sioux Rapids) is seen here taking the oath of office in the Iowa House chamber as the 88th General Assembly at the Capitol.