GOP education plan fails our kids and our communities

Statement by Senator Herman Quirmbach, Ranking Member of Senate Education Committee, on Senate Republican School Funding Plan

“Why won’t Senate Republicans step up and support our schools the way our kids deserve, especially the rural schools that many of them represent?

“The sad truth is that under the Republican proposal they just announced late this afternoon and plan to pass early next week, 141 Iowa school districts will receive less state funding than they did this year.  The difference, if it is made up at all, will have to come from higher local property taxes.

“Because of the COVID pandemic, public schools across the state have experienced significant drops in enrollment.  Under current law, last year’s enrollment determines next year’s funding.  That’s how many public schools will get lower state funding next year—just when enrollment snaps back as the pandemic eases.  Less money for more kids!  How is that good for our kids’ education?

“And, many rural schools are already losing students.  Short funding them next year will only push more and more of them to consolidation.  How will losing their schools help small towns grow???

“Last week Republicans took money from our kids’ public schools to fund private school vouchers for the privileged few.  Republicans are now launching a puny school funding plan that fails to make up for four years of neglect.  Our kids and our community schools need much more help to overcome the learning challenges of the COVID19 pandemic.”