Education Spending, Republican Priorities Continue at the Statehouse

Feb 12, 2018

The Iowa legislature seemed to get a lot of stuff done last week. There was a lot of debate over education funding and we appear to have an idea of what to expect in the coming school year. Morning Edition Host Clay Masters checks in with IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell 

Education debates are not over. A lot seemed to get done last week on education. Lawmakers made “progress on time-sensitive items,” says IPR’s Joyce Russell in regards to public education spending. It appears K-12 schools can plan on a 1% increase next year.  House Republicans unveiled a plan for school vouchers and cuts to the regent’s universities remain unresolved.

Conservative issues are moving forward. The 2017 legislative session went down in history as one of the most conservative friendly ones in recent history. The Republican-controlled legislature scaled back collective bargaining rights drastically for public sector workers, cut off funding for Planned Parenthood and expanded gun laws. The Senate is considering a bill that would do away with weapon permits to both acquire and carry. While last year’s bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy is tied up in court, there was a fetal bill heartbeat bill introduced last week.

Governor Kim Reynolds’s signature proposal will be up for debate this week. Future Ready Iowa has cleared an early hurdle. The project’s goal is to have 70% of Iowa’s workforce achieve education beyond high school by the year 2025. It would cost $20 million over two years.