EDUCATION REFORM: Compromise Urged

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While Gov. Terry Branstad is in China, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds took over duties at his weekly press conference Monday.

Reynolds addressed the challenges Iowa lawmakers face in coming to a compromise on school funding and education reform.

Schools are required to submit their budgets to their respective counties by Monday but lawmakers have yet to agree on how much money schools will get.

Last week, legislators debated the rate of allowable growth.

The current proposal from Republicans is to have two-percent plus an additional one-time payment of two-percent for fiscal year 2014.  Four-percent is offered for fiscal year 2015.

Reynolds says lawmakers need to come to the table with what they want to give schools the figure they need to set their budgets.

“We have a compromise on the table and I think any time you’re in good faith negotiations you anticipate either an acceptance of the proposal or a counter offer. To my knowledge we haven’t seen either one yet.  We have always made it very clear from the beginning that we’re willing to invest additional money in education but it needs to be tied to reform and it needs to be tied to achievement,” says Reynolds.

Both Republicans and Democrats at the Statehouse say they remain confident they will make significant reforms to education this year.

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