Iowa lawmakers send 2.5% school funding increase to governor

February 14, 2022 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — 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 last week. 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 $7,413 per pupil, up from the current $7,227. The cost is estimated to be about $172 million.

Republican Sen. Amy Sinclair, the bill’s sponsor, said it is an amount that is sustainable, predictable and reliable.

Democrats attempted to amend the bill to increase state aid by 5%, or $300 million but Republicans voted the amendment down and their version passed on a party-line vote.

Democratic Sen. Jackie Smith said Iowa ranks 40th in the nation for the increase in per pupil expenditures from 2014 to 2019 and the state’s per pupil funding is below the national average.