Newby: The increase in K-12 public school funding is exactly what Iowa needs

The Iowa Senate approved a 2.1 percent general funding increase for Iowa’s K-12 public schools that will ultimately shape accessibility to success in the classroom.



In education alone, K-12 spending on edtech devices and programs has grown from $7.2 billion in 1998 to a projected $21 billion in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Education. (Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Taylor Newby, Opinions Columnist

Early last week, the Iowa Senate approved a a 2.1 percent for general funding increase for Iowa’s K-12 public schools. The legislation funding package provides nearly $90 million for public schools across the state. With just under $20 million allotted to transportation alone, lower-income students will have the easier access to the higher-quality education they deserve.

Students who are unable to find or have access to reliable transportation to school often will not go — resulting in their absence from class. And with more efficient public-school transportation, more students will be given the opportunity to have access to consistency in the classroom.Quality transportation expands quality education to students across the state. 

Some $2.3million will be invested in per-student equity issues, leveling out to around $5 per student — directly influencing the almost half-a-million students who are enrolled in the Iowa public-school system. While the number of students enrolled in Iowa public education continues to grow, it is imperative that funding for education in Iowa continues to grow as well. 

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The purpose of the per-student equity education funding allows different students access to different methods of instruction, different levels of resources, and an overall opportunity to excel in the classroom. With various resources and opportunities appointed to the public-school classroom, students will better succeed in the courses and classes set before them. 

And that the funding spans from when a student is beginning education to when graduating from high-school and moving on to what is next is immeasurably valuable — with the consistency and quality of a student’s entire education.

Earlier last week, the Iowa Senate approved a 2.1 percent general funding increase for Iowa’s K-12 public schools.

For students who don’t excel in a public-school classroom, alternative schooling has been a source of success. And although funding for Iowa’s education is more commonly directed to public schools, alternative schools often still receive a portion of funding from the budget.

With driven course-loads and personalized guidance in alternative schooling, students are met in their questions, concerns, and confusion with diligence and direction. And while personalized education is commonly seen in alternative schooling, it doesn’t need to stop there. An increase in K-12 funding allows public schools the ability to compete with alternative schools by improving the education of students in the public-school system.

There are almost 500,000 students enrolled in the Iowa public-school system, navigating a growing education — and each student deserves some level of attention and opportunity in those classroom walls. More funding allows this ideal of reaching more students to become more of a possibility by allowing them easier access to reachable resources. 

RELATED: Reynolds remains confident in ability to fund budget priorities 

“With the Iowa Legislature’s approval of historic pre-K-12 school funding, we can continue moving forward in preparing our young people for the challenges of a 21st-century economy,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement.

The budget that was recently approved paves a way for students in the public-school system to seek achievable success in their journeys through education. The approved funding is nothing short of fulfilling to students in public schools across the state and those who are stewarding them.

“I look forward to signing this legislation shortly after it reaches my desk because it’s a critical piece for our local school districts to have in place as they plan for the next school year,” Reynolds said. “Without question, Iowans are the true winners as a result of this year’s record investment in education.”