Schools Warn: Class Sizes Will Rise if State Investment Falls Short Again Next Year
According to a new survey, over 90% of school administrators said another year of stagnant state funding would lead to higher class sizes in their own school.
“Iowa’s local educators have told us, again, how underfunding local schools is limiting the opportunities of our state’s next generation. Underfunding education also undermines our state’s economic future, according to Iowa business leaders frustrated by a shortage of skilled workers,” said Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “I urge the House Republican majority to stand by the votes they cast last year for the education increase vetoed by Governor Branstad. Anyone can promise to support high quality schools. What Iowa needs right now are Republican legislators who join with Democrats and vote to keep those promises.”
The survey was completed by superintendents, principals, and other school administrators to gather information about the consequences of short changing public schools next year as well as determine the impact of the Governor’s veto last summer. In addition to raising class size, school leaders said underfunding schools next year would force them to delay purchases for books or classroom materials (77%); leave positions unfilled (71%); delay new technology (56%); and cut back literacy programs (43%).
“Iowa kids won’t get a world class education if schools have to raise class size, use old technology, and cut back literacy programs because of underfunding by the state,” said Rep. Patti Ruff of McGregor, Ranking Member of the House Education Committee. “It’s time for Governor Branstad and Republican leaders to listen to our school leaders and work with us to make public schools the top priority of the Legislature again.”
The survey also found 88% of the school leaders recommended the state provide at least a 4% increase in basic state funding next year.
FULL SURVEY RESULTS WITH COMMENTS FROM SCHOOL LEADERS: http://iowahouse.org/pdf/1-16schoolleader-survey-webversion.pdf