Governor Raises State Budget Concern Before School Choice Group

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Governor Branstad speaking before the Iowa School Choice Summit in Des Moines (Roger Riley WHO-HD)

Governor Branstad speaking before the Iowa School Choice Summit in Des Moines (Roger Riley WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa- Governor Terry Branstad raised the concern over the state’s budget Wednesday in a speech before the Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education.  Branstad said, “we are facing some financial challenges due to the avian bird flu issue that impacted Iowa’s poultry this past year.”  Branstad also added, “the price of corn is well below the cost of production, which has caused some layoffs at John Deere, and Kinze, and other machinery manufactures in the state.”

Branstad made the comments while speaking before the first-ever School Choice Summit.  Branstad  said the Student Tuition Organization state funding has increase from $7.5 million dollars in 2010, to  $12 million dollars last year.  He said an increase to the program was being sought up to $15 million.  The Governor then raised the concern about the state budget.

“We are the state-wide school choice organization, we’re a coalition that works to promote parental choice in education,” said Trish Wilger, who is Executive Director of the Iowa Alliance in Education. “We remove barriers which keep parents from choosing the best-fit education for their child.”

School choices would include public school, open-enrollment to another district, private schools, home schooling, and on-line academy.

The Student Tuition Organization has a program where  middle and low-income students can apply for tuition to attend a private school.

As to the State Budget, the Governor said he would be waiting for numbers from the December Revenue Estimating Conference, to get an idea where state funds might stand during the next session of the Iowa General Assembly.