Iowa schools on course for one percent increase

Representative Cindy Winckler says more money can be found for schools

Iowa State Representative Cindy Winckler joined 4 The Record this week. This is part two of that interview.

Lawmakers in Des Moines are working on spending cuts for the current fiscal year to balance the books after revenue collections came up short.

House Republicans propose almost $34 million in cuts.

Senate Republicans want to chop $52 million.

Both propose steep cuts in the university system.

The House would drop $8 million from the Board of Regents compared to $19 million from the Senate.


Human services could lose $4 million or almost $10 million.


It's $2 million or close to $5 million for the judiciary that could be cut under the proposals.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds seeks smaller cuts in each category.

Winckler's Democratic colleague on the appropriations committee, Chris Hall, says there shouldn't be any mid-year spending cuts because the economy is showing strength.

Winckler addressed whether running a larger deficit would be too risky for Iowa.

"We have to be proactive in our response," Winckler said. "We cannot end the fiscal year with a deficit. This is a mid-year correction. ... I've been in the legislature for a while. The only two times we've ever had to do mid-year corrections before last year and this year was 9/11 and the global recession. We normally have a system that works to our benefit. This time we have spent more than were taking in for two years in a row. We have to address that. ... We are not allowed to operate in the red."

Democrats have lost the battle over money for education in recent years.

Spending increases have been far less than what your party wants.

The stage is set for that again after what's cleared the House and Senate.

Both chambers approved spending another $32 million in new money for public schools.

That's an added $67 for every student.

Republicans in the Senate provided another $14 million to help large districts in rural areas with big transportation budgets.

Davenport meets that criteria and would essentially get another $5 per student.

These differences need to be worked out before anything can be sent to the governor.

Both proposals amount to roughly a one-percent increase.

Democrats wanted 3 percent, but have no chance with Republicans in complete control.

Why isn't this good enough considering Iowa's current financial struggles?

Republicans say there simply isn't the money.

"Education should be the first decision that we make and all other decisions fall in line," Winckler said. "It's so very important since we've underfunded our public schools for the last seven years.”

After last year's legislative session, the Quad-City Times editorial board graded all of the lawmakers from this area on their work in Des Moines.

It gave you a "C" for not getting behind the Senate school equity bill.

The board criticized you for essentially sticking to idealistic principles rather than being a political pragmatist.

"If they had looked at my record, time after time we've tried to address the funding equity through amendments, so using Senate File 455 as a measuring stick is inappropriate when you don't even have the opportunity to participate."

Watch the full interview in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It's a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what's happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.
 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Hidden History
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • How to change your Facebook Preferences
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • QC Health Alert
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Your Local Elections HQ
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Our QC Cares

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center