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Iowa lawmakers disagree whether schools are getting enough funding in new education bill

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 5:21 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) -Iowa lawmakers disagree whether Iowa schools are getting enough funding through an education bill heading to Governor Kim Reynolds’ desk.

The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday. The final bill increases funding for Iowa schools by 2.4%, which gives an additional $36.5 million to schools, adding $179 for every pupil.

Lawmakers did not include additional funding for COVID-19-related expenses in the bill.

“In the Senate, we proposed emergency relief for food pantries and food banks that have been critical providing nutrition to Iowa families with food insecurity,” said Iowa Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls (D-Coralville). “We introduced, similar to our friends in the house, a small business relief grant program to support businesses that bore the brunt of the covid economic crisis.”

“When you’re talking about policies that are in direct response to COVID, making sure schools have additional resources to handle the curveball thrown at them, I think taking the vote to get kids back in school, that is part of COVID recovery,” said Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford).

On Thursday, the House passed a bill to give an extra $30 million, but only to schools that complied with the Governor’s 100% in-person learning criteria.

Democrats argue that every school should have been included since those with remote learning plans also had more COVID-19 costs.

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