EDUCATION FUNDING: Spending Plan Labeled ‘Outrageous’

Iowa lawmakers have spent their week going through Governor Terry Branstad’s budget plans for the coming year. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Council Bluffs Democrat, called Branstad’s spending plans for community colleges “outrageous.”

This came two days after Gronstal offered praise for Branstad’s Condition of the State address. Gronstal vowed, “Obviously, the legislature is going to know where to speak on this and speak loudly and do a better job by community colleges than the governor.”

Branstad would provide more money so public universities can freeze tuition rates for a second straight year, something both Democratic and Republicans leaders support. But Branstad doesn’t give community colleges more money.

Gronstal vowed, “Obviously, the legislature is going to know where to speak on this and speak loudly and do a better job by community colleges than the governor.”

Spokesman Jimmy Centers said in a statement, “Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds believe Iowa’s community colleges play a critical role in educating and training Iowans. That’s why last year Gov. Branstad signed a proposal giving community colleges a nine percent increase in funding over the previous fiscal year. In addition, Gov. Branstad’s budget in FY15 continues funding the Iowa Skilled Worker and Job Creation fund for community colleges by over $30 million.”

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