And finally, it provided another important part of the early literacy initiative in 2012’s education reform bill by providing $1.9 million requested to provide districts with an early warning literacy assessment necessary to identify students struggling with literacy before grade 4.
Higher education received several bumps in funding. Community colleges once again saw a significant increase of more than 4 percent, with an $8 million increase. Private school students will benefit from a nearly 4 percent increase, $1.4 million, to the Iowa Tuition Grant.
And the bill met the $19.2 million request that the Regents proposed for a tuition freeze. The University of Iowa saw a 2 percent, or $4.5 million, increase; Iowa State received 4 percent, or $7 million; and recognizing the impact of a tuition freeze on the University of Northern Iowa and their other unique funding needs, the bill provided 4 percent, or $3.3 million, plus an additional $4.4 million.
Other areas receiving increases include state libraries, private school families through textbook assistance, students making a positive life decision in Iowa Jobs for America’s Grads (iJAG), preschool students in early head start programs and Iowa Public Television.
Rebuild IowaInfrastructure Fund
This week, the House passed legislation providing appropriations for the RIIF programs after several improvements were made. The appropriation, which began in the Senate, was amended to remove $14 million in earmarks and was shifted to provide more funding for major and routine maintenance for state parks, recreational trails and the state fair.
Brian Moore, a Republican from Bellevue, represents Iowa House District 58 in the Iowa Legislature, which covers Jackson County.