DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republicans in the Iowa Senate have approved $46 million in new funding for K-12 education for the upcoming budget year.
The GOP-controlled chamber voted 29-21 Wednesday night for the measure. It must now bounce back to the Republican-controlled House, which voted 57-40 Wednesday morning for $32 million in new funding. Lawmakers will need to agree on a total before it can reach Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk.
The Senate approved an extra $14 million for various transportation expenses and to close some inequity in cost-per-pupil spending across school districts.
The $32 million that both chambers appear to agree on is a 1 percent increase to Iowa’s $3.2 billion K-12 education budget.
Officials in the Des Moines school district, the state’s largest, say it will lead to more than $11 million in cuts. In more rural school districts, superintendents warned financial obligations like putting new money toward employee retirement plans will eat up a lot of the new appropriations.
Republicans say public education is a priority at the Capitol amid budget constraints.