Iowa school districts will receive some additional new money next year. Thursday Governor Kim Reynolds signed an education funding bill that will provide 5 dollars more for per pupil spending, and money to help mostly rural districts pay the high cost of busing their students.
She says 14 million dollars will reduce the gap in per pupil spending that affects more than 100 districts, from 175 dollars to 170.
"That includes 160 districts receiving an extra 5 dollars for per pupil spending. Another 162 districts will receive an extra 5 dollars per student for property tax relief. The remaining 8 districts will use the extra 5 dollars for both purposes."
Reynolds signed the bill at Central High School In Davenport. District officials and students have been among the most vocal demanding the school aid formula be fixed to reduce the current huge gap in spending among Iowa districts.
School board president, Ralph Johanson, calls the bill a significant step forward, and an acknowledgment of the inequity in school funding in Iowa.
"We consider the signing of this bill into law to be a promise, a commitment by our elected leaders to continue to work to provide equitable funding for all students in Iowa. We're confident our legislators will keep this issue a priority next year and will continue to focus on this problem. "
The governor says the bill also includes money for transportation - so that no Iowa district has to spend more than 432 dollars per student. The North Winneshiek School District now spends 969 dollars for busing each of its students.