Public education has been the backbone of Iowa, which has long prided itself on excellence in education – K-12, community colleges and its Regents universities. The Republican-run state legislature has underfunded public education. K-12 needs it needs at least a 4% annual increase but has been getting only 1-1.5% per annum in recent years. After years of underfunding, a 5% increase would be appropriate because of additional burdens placed on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to compensate teachers and staff adequately.
Community colleges and our public universities must also be well-funded – the Regents universities in particular, our flagship institutions of higher learning, have been starved of public dollars in recent years. We have the tax dollars – we need look no further than the surplus our governor and Republican legislators have been touting. If we want Iowa to be a place where families come and stay and if we want all children to reach their potential, quality public education is a must.
Adequately fund K-12, community colleges and the Regents universities – at least a 5% hike for K-12 this year.
Support apprenticeship and technical education programs.
Public funds are for public education only.
Restore Chapter 20 collective bargaining rights to entice teachers to help entice come to Iowa and stay.
Focus on providing appropriate education to all levels – that includes literature in which all can see themselves reflected, and it means teaching history unvarnished. It is not the legislature’s business to micro-manage education and education professionals.
Require media/social media literacy education to equip people from an early age to distinguish truth from misinformation/disinformation.
Use our surplus for our kids – expand free pre-K for four-year-olds and provide wrap-around care so all can benefit.