DES MOINES, Iowa -- It took some time, but Iowa lawmakers have finally come up with a plan so school administrators know how much they'll have this fall for their classrooms.
Members of the bipartisan conference committee, which is made up of House and Senate members, announced Tuesday they have agreed to increase aid for schools 2.25 percent for the next year. That is roughly an additional $100 million.
Democrats say the deal's ruining the quality of education. Republicans say it's what we can afford. Either way, it fails to set aside anything for students who need extra reading help over the summer.
Brad Anderson is a former Democratic staffer for Gov. Chet Culver and President Barack Obama.
Tim Albrecht is a former Republican staffer for Gov. Terry Branstad and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
State Sen. Steve Sodders tweeted how much education spending has increased over the past seven years.
Democrats are positioning this argument against Republicans, saying the party doesn’t care about schools.
Albrecht says that’s false, and that schools are a priority.
“Unfortunately, the revenue stream has slowed down a little, but even of that, 75 percent of that is going toward school funding,” he said.
Democrats, who have fought for 4 percent, could have prolonged the fight, Anderson said, but they chose not to.
Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach said the difference between 4 percent and 2 percent is roughly $90 million.
“We could easily afford 4 percent and cut taxes $300 million. We’re not doing that,” Quirmbach said.
But, Albrecht says schools now have stability and predictability that they haven’t had in recent years.
Watch the full interview with Anderson and Albrecht to understand, from the insiders' points of view, where Democrats and Republicans stand on education funding.
Next on the Insiders, Anderson and Albrecht say they figured out how to get the most accurate, unbiased polling results. For part two, click here.