The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

February 19, 2013

HART: School aid passes Iowa Senate

It was a week of celebrations at the Statehouse.

We started out last week with purple and gold during University if Northern Iowa Day at the Capitol, acknowledged Fat Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and ended with pink and red for Valentine’s Day.

Last weekend Sen. Tod Bowman, Rep. Brian Moore, Rep. Steve Olson and I met with area superintendents to talk about funding for schools and education reform.

We talked about various aspects of the education reform bill as proposed by the governor, including teacher leadership and compensation. It is very apparent that our local superintendents are dedicated to building world-class schools for their students.

Exciting things are happening in each of these districts with curriculum and staff development.

These 14 area superintendents also explained in no uncertain terms how vital it is for the state legislature to approve funding for schools as quickly as possible. The Senate has already fulfilled that responsibility by passing a 4 percent increase in basic state aid for the 2013-14 school year and for the 2014-15 school year. In both cases, we’ll do it without raising property taxes. These dollars are needed to buy up-to-date textbooks, keep the lights on, gas up the buses and pay school employees.

I hope that the House and Gov. Terry Branstad will follow suit so that the school districts can make sound financial decisions for the future.

Senator Rita Hart represents Clinton County and northern Scott County in the Iowa Senate.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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