by Molly Regan
For those of us who reaped the benefits of a superb public school experience, I know we all wish that could be the same for Iowa’s children now. But, it appears Iowa legislators Linda Miller, Ross Paustian, other Republicans, and Governor Terry Branstad do not care much for Iowa’s children and their education. They disagree with the 300 plus school superintendents across the state who have asked for a much needed increase in funding. A 6% increase is greatly needed. The 1.5% increase suggested by the governor is an insult. There IS enough money available.
The governor said while campaigning, that he has been a friend of public schools. Wrong. His actions do not reflect that fuzzy feeling. He would rather condone giving tax credits and refunds to large corporations that are not in need. According to the Iowa Department of Revenue, John Deere, Rockwell-Collins, Monsanto, Dupont, and 4 other large companies doing business in Iowa received over $42 million in these credits/refunds in recent years. Putting this money back into Iowa’s coffers would allow the state to increase by 1% the funding for education says David Osterberg, founder of the Iowa Policy Project, a non-partisan research group based in Iowa City.
Our most important priorities should always be the safety, health, and EDUCATION of our state’s children.
As Democratic Representative Cindy Winckler said at last month’s legislative forum, “If you think education is expensive, try paying for ignorance”. Well said Representative Winckler.