Educators ‘At Wits End’ With Lack of School Funding Budget

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DES MOINES, Iowa--Debating the school funding budget at the statehouse has hit a standstill and educators are fed up.

“Administrators and board members are just at their wit's end,” says Gale Howsare with the Iowa Association of School Boards.

Howsare says the lack of action is creating tremendous pressure for districts that must have their budgets certified in a little over two weeks.

“We`re having to spend time on developing multiple scenarios, having to wait to do some things because we don`t know and it makes it extremely, it`s just frustrating,” says Howsare.

The Senate Democrats are pushing for a 4-percent increase while the Governor and House Republicans want 1.25-percent.

Negotiations are stalling and lawmakers are well past the original deadline.

“The expectation is we have to follow timelines we have to follow the law and then we have our state leaders setting a model of not doing any of those things,” says Howsare.

The Iowa State Education Association agrees.

“The legislature set a law, they refuse to follow it and they`re forcing other people to break the law to do what`s right for kids,” says Mary Jane Cobb with the ISEA.

ISEA is supporting Davenport Superintendent Art Tate who plans to use money from the school district's 29-million dollar reserve account.

That would violate state law because the district is spending more than they are legally allowed.

“It`s courageous of him to stand up and be the leader and I think he may be a leader because I think we may see other superintendents and other boards look at their books and say maybe we need to follow what Davenports doing,” says Cobb.

Cobb says superintendents are forced to make decisions with no information to back them up.

“There having to certify their budgets and there having to make staffing decisions and they don`t know what to make those decisions based on.”

Both educators are hoping action is done soon, but aren't holding their breath.

“There`s enough pressure to the jobs that we do running the schools without having someone add unnecessary pressure because they fail to act appropriately,” says Howsare.

Both associations support a four percent increase.


  • John Smith

    But, the Iowa House can vote on secret gun registrations without even a debate! Who cares if their 1.25% proposal is actually a BUDGET CUT? Secret guns! Oh, and more money for the road builders, that one only took some extraordinary measures by the House Speaker. So, that’s secret guns AND a higher fuel tax! All in one session!

    • Terry

      Hey dimwit, this isn’t about guns or gas tax. I don’t think I can write this out in crayon for you on an electronic discussion board, so if that’s not plain enough for you, I think you will have to ask one of the smart kids on your bus to explain it in simple, one syllable words you can “get”.

      • John Smith

        Good, good, nice try! Now, do you think you could take your plagiarism and try to actually apply it to the subject at hand?

        Remember, no one said Remedial Thinking class would be easy…

      • Linda

        I will never be as good as John,but I want to take the same Internet warrior and keyboard commando course that he took.

    • Randy

      I don’t think you have ever written anything positive in your life on here. Maybe you should consider getting a different hobby. You sound stressed out bud. It’s nice outside…try getting out more. Do you really want to spend your whole life being the first one to reply to a political post 24 hours a day and 7 days a week? This is just WHO… There is more to life than this. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings…..I’m just worried.

      • John Smith

        Gee, that’s swell, and all, but maybe you should confine yourself to what’s actually going on: The Iowa Legislature is late, BY THEIR OWN LAW, in passing state aid to public schools. By several WEEKS, now, with no resolution in sight.

        Meanwhile, and increase in motor fuel taxes was fast-tracked through the very same legislature so that they could begin collecting the higher taxes immediately. And, at the same time, the House passed a new, more permissive gun measure WITHOUT EVEN DEBATING IT, that was proposed by at least one Legislator whose family gun business stands to gain financially.

        Now, do you have anything to say about the actual issues, or are you just a pathetic little disingenuous concern-troll?

    • 7

      Judging Others
      7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

      3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

      6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

      Ask, Seek, Knock
      7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

      9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

      The Narrow and Wide Gates
      13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

      True and False Prophets
      15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

      True and False Disciples
      21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

      The Wise and Foolish Builders
      24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

      28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

    • Gunther

      You can’t just go change the subject when you like. That is what you told Andy when Andy asked you about guns and knives. Dimwit.

      • John Smith

        Want to try again, in English? This is an article about the failure of the State Legislature to do its damned job; try to pay attention.

    • minna

      And, “maybe we need to follow what Davenports doing” should be Davenport’s, as in the contraction for Davenport is. There was a time when “journalists” were required to know basic grammar and punctuation.

  • Clyde

    Well gee, maybe that’s why superindents are overpaid, to handle the stress of 1.5 percent raise in money to blow or 4 percent.

    • Ski

      In our little district,the superintendent pulls 90K.Teachers,49K to 70K. They are the most highest paid people in this town. We have an Ivy league infrastructure and an Olympic class athletic department. I’m sure government regulations are part of the expense in their spending…but the school board lets themselves get RAPED by contractors and repair service companies. The computer science instructor can’t even fix their own computers that the students mess up. They just go buy new ones. Over a $1,000.00 each for band uniforms that look like black shorts and white dress shirts. $100,000.00 to build a ‘green space’ of grass beside the parking lot.Who knows what it costs to replace EVERYTHING with the districts name on it when they merge with another district. I would think the art class would/could/should love to repaint the school building and athletic field signs instead of spending thousands of dollars for a simple task to have a contractor complete.Yep,they love to waste somebody else’s money and complain when they run out.

      • Kay

        How about a real rebuttal rather than a snarky comment? It’s hard when you don’t have one, isn’t it?!

  • concerned taxpayer

    Have you ever seen so many crybabies like school superintendents and teachers? Imagine if they were in private sector and were required to be efficient and productive! They would fail miserably! That is why they remain working for the govrrnment.

    • John Smith

      Yes, just imagine a Private Sector business that demanded budgets from employees every year, but wouldn’t tell them the amount they were to base their budgets on. Why, I hear that Private Sector businesses base ALL their decisions on that kind of procedure!

  • Cody

    Audit The State! Where is all the money going? The politians pockets? This will be the year of tax hikes!

  • Kay

    Who cares, as long as kids are getting their breakfasts & lunches paid for? That’s because parents with cell phones, cigarettes, alchohol & junk food habits can’t afford to feed their kids….
    If you can’t afford kids, don’t have them…We (the system payers) don’t want them! Just visit the Windsor Heights Walmart.

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