LAST HOPE: Education Reform Committee Convenes

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When lawmakers can’t agree on a major piece of legislation, they form a conference committee.  Thursday, a committee of 10 lawmakers, five from each party, convened with the goal of finding common ground on education reform.

It was just a short meeting to figure out scheduling, the committee hopes to hold a more substantive meeting Monday. They will need to find common ground on teacher pay, mentoring plans, and school choice issues, but one thing that is expected to be a big sticking point is money.

Representative Ron Jorgensen a republican from Sioux City says, “Money’s always an issue. That’s what makes the world go around I think. I’m not averse to investing more in education. But it needs to be targeted investment.”

Senator Tod Bowman a democrat from Maquoketa said, “The money part’s important. We need to fund our schools the basic school funding. I hope that’s not a negotiating chip that, well, we’ll do that if you do that. That’s just bad policy.”

Both acknowledged the pressure to reach an agreement soon as school districts must finalize next year’s budget by April 15th.

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