Superintendent Ahart Reacts to Education Funding Compromise
Iowa legislative leaders announced a compromise today on education funding, proposing a 2.25% increase. The following is Superintendent Tom Ahart’s reaction to the announcement:
This compromise is not enough, and does nothing to make up for Iowa’s recent history of underfunding our children’s education. At Des Moines Public Schools the issue is further compounded by the fact that Iowa is not providing adequate funds to support the increasingly diverse nature of our district, particularly ELL and At-Risk students.
By failing to meet the needs of our schools with increased supplemental state aid, DMPS and other districts must become more reliant on property tax dollars, such as the Instructional Support Levy. For a property poor district like Des Moines, that is an unfair burden on our community. And at the same time, legislators are looking to cut into one source of funding, the one-cent sales tax, that actually helps us hold the line on property taxes.
State leaders seem determined to put Iowa’s public schools between a rock and a hard place … and then pile on more rocks. Until they start to once again provide adequate funding to our schools, and recognize the needs of our increasingly diverse students, any talk of Iowa once again being number one in education is just that: talk.