By State Representative Todd Prichard
Our first month of the 2020 legislative session has concluded and it’s been a whirlwind of activity at the State Capitol. This week, the House and Senate each passed its own version of education funding for the upcoming school year. What the final amount of state funding for students and classrooms will be is still an open question. Fortunately, state revenues are strong right now in this environment of low unemployment. After a decade of low funding for schools, I view this as an opportunity to make overdue investments in Iowa’s education system, particularly in the K-12 arena.
A significant investment in public education from the state would benefit our local school districts in many ways. First, it would help deal with growing class sizes which has a direct impact on student performance. Second, it would keep more rural schools open. Finally, adequate state funding would help lower the burden on property taxes that schools are forced to rely on when state funding falls short.
Over the last few weeks, I have been lucky to have lots of visits at the State Capitol from folks back home. Thanks to Kathy Behrens from AARP, Charles City FFA students, and Nashua-Plainfield FFA students for stopping by. It’s always great to hear perspectives from people back home on things we are working on in Des Moines.