DES MOINES, Iowa - Governor Kim Reynolds Thursday signed a bill which adds $85.5 million dollars in new state funding for pre-K-through-12 education in Iowa. The state legislature passed the bill just over a week ago. School districts now have until April 15th to certify their budgets as required by law. The package signed by Reynolds includes an addition of $7.65 million for rural transportation and $5.8 million in per pupil equity.
“Iowans can be proud of the commitment we’re making to our preK-12 schools across the state, and not just with new money, but in programs and initiatives that support educators and prepare our students for a disruptive 21st century economy,” said Governor Reynolds in a statement.
Lawmakers were divided along party lines over pre-K-through-12 spending. Republicans, who control the legislature agreed on a compromise 2.3 percent boost. House Republicans and Governor Reynolds had wanted an increase of 2.5 percent in state aid, but Senate Republicans voted for 2.1 percent. The final deal split the difference. Democrats, who had pushed for a 3 percent increase, all voted against the final package. One Republican, Representative Jeff Shipley of Fairfield, broke ranks and joined Democrats in voting against the plan.
The state will spend about $3.5 billion on public pre-K-through-12 schools next year.