Remember when Iowa was considered to be one of the best states in America for education?

Financial site WalletHub ranks Iowa #20, based on safety, teacher/pupil ratio, math and reading scores.

US News and World Report ranked Iowa’s high schools 43rd in the nation, based on high schools’ achievement.

The Des Moines metro schools are losing up to 15% of teachers once their contracts end.

Remember in November.

Education bills in 2022, presented by our Republican-led legislature, prioritized providing grants and tax exemptions for children attending non public schools (SF128), not allowing gender identity curriculum in elementary schools (SF2024), establishing standards for Hebrew scripture and the Bible for cultural understanding (SF2136), and placing cameras in the classrooms to monitor teachers (HF2177, thank you Rep. Mommsen). Gov. Kim Reynolds’ expansive education bill (SSB 3080) mentioned nothing about declining reading and math levels in students.

Remember in November.

Senate bill SF 2204 set the increase for state aid at 2.25%. School advocates said the Republican proposals are too low to cover the 7-8% estimated inflation and to keep wages competitive for teachers. Iowa concluded Fiscal Year 2021 with a $1.24 billion budget surplus. Sen.Chris Cournoyer, R-Le Claire, called the proposal an amount schools can plan for. “It’s sustainable and it’s responsible. It may not be the number that people are asking for but it’s a number that you’re getting…”

Remember in November.

“Iowa farmers know better than to eat your seed corn,” said Sen. Quirmbach, the top Democrat on the Senate Education Committee. “Short-changing education is the equivalent of eating your seed corn. It’s condemning your future to a low-growth, low-income path and I don’t want to be on that.”

Our Republican leadership in Des Moines is short-changing education.

Remember in November.

Renne Lietz, Delmar

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