Two Plus Two Equals Four: Respected Education Groups Endorse Compromise Proposal Print
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Monday, 15 April 2013 07:51

(DES MOINES) – Senate Democrats on Thursday provided misleading information regarding the finances of the education reform conference committee offer made by legislative Republicans and the governor.

“Senate Democrats have repeatedly stated ‘The price for education reform is four and four’ (meaning 4 percent allowable growth or supplemental state aid for the next two fiscal years),” said Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht. “The governor and legislative Republicans took them at their word, and found a way to meet this demand. Senate Democrats could have everything they wanted, in exchange for all the fundamental reforms Republicans want. Now, Senate Democrats are trying to confuse the issue by saying the offer is not equivalent to their demand of four percent each year.”

The reality: 4 percent growth in state aid for FY 2014 is equivalent to funding of $6,241 per pupil – a total of about $2.7 billion statewide.  The offer by the Governor and legislative Republicans of 2 percent supplemental state aid and a 2 percent one-time payment is equivalent to that same $6,241 per pupil.

“Simply put, two plus two equals four,” said Albrecht.

Senate Democrats demanded 4% in FY 2015, and the conference committee offer met that request.

“Respected education organizations recognize the opportunity presented in this compromise proposal,” continued Albrecht. “That’s why the proposal has been endorsed by the Iowa Association of School Boards, the School Administrators of Iowa, and the Urban Education Network of Iowa.”

Though the communication from Senate Democrats mentioned nothing about the policy in House File 215, these organizations recognize that the transformational reforms the bill offers will dramatically increase student achievement. In addition, nearly the entire business community endorsed House File 215 when it passed the House in February.

“We will not continue to put additional money into the existing system absent fundamental reforms in education that will increase student achievement,” said Albrecht. “The conference committee proposal offers the ability to provide school districts the regular funding they have requested, all while transforming education in Iowa.”

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