SESSION ENDING: Focus On State Education Funding

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Reality is setting in for state lawmakers as time runs out at the Statehouse on this legislative session.

Both parties tried to make their case Thursday that the public is on their side on two separate issues.

Republicans say polls show nearly two-thirds of Iowans agree with them that legislators should ban telemedicine abortions.

“I think it’s something that is important to protect the health of women and eliminate a bad medical practice. Among others that is one bill that we are disappointed that did not survive,” Sen. Jack Whitver said.

Democrats point to their own survey that shows 98 percent of superintendents think they should know this year what their state funding will be for the 2015-16 school year.

Law requires that the legislature should have already set that funding but Republicans have refused to follow that.

Instead, they want to wait until next year when they say they will be more certain of what Iowa can afford.

One Democratic lawmaker argued schools are already suffering.

“I heard from a staff person in another school district, he is losing his job and he is wondering how he is going to support his family. These things are happening all over the state,” Rep. Sharon Steckman said.

Democrats want a six percent increase for schools in per student funding for 2015.