2016 Iowa School Administrator Survey Results

school house257 Responses from Iowa School Administrators


What impact did the Governor’s $56 million school funding veto last summer have in your school?

(Please check all that apply)
Percent Responses
Increased class size 61% 157
Left positions unfilled 42% 109
Delayed new technology purchases 41%      107
Other 43% 113
Cut back literacy programs 29% 77
Cut back offerings in music, art, or P.E. 13% 34
Reduced extra-curricular programs 10% 26



What level of supplemental state aid should the Legislature set for 2016-2017?

Percent Responses
8% or above 5
7% 1
6% 31 88% say 4% or above
5% 32
4% 156
3% 25
2% 3
1% 0
0% 1


If schools receive stagnant state funding again next year, is it likely that class sizes will increase in your school building?
Yes 90.42%
No 9.58%




When thinking about the next school year, what is the likely result at your school if the legislature underfunds public schools again next year? (Check all that apply)

Percent Responses
Raise class size 84% 216
Delay purchases for books or classroom materials 77% 200
Leave positions unfilled 71% 184
Delayed new technology purchases 56%       145
Cut back literacy programs 43% 113
Other 33% 85
Cut back offerings in music, art, or P.E. 31% 81



Comments from Iowa School Leaders – 2016 Survey

Mike Dailey, Principal

Junior High, Southeast Polk

Our students get caught up in the numbers game when we add more students but no more aid is provided. That impacts us more than a district who is stagnant or shrinking.  We have more students but no funds to work with for them.

Justin M. Gross, Nevada High School Principal

Nevada High School, Nevada

You cannot continue to say that we want world class schools, raise student achievement, provide more opportunities for students, and look for innovative ways to educate students without increased state funding.

Lynn A. Baldus, 6-12 Principal

St. Ansgar Middle and High School

We continue to have increased costs and see an increase in our students’ needs (both academically and economically).  We do not want to cut staff or programs, but we will not have a choice if we do not see increased state support.

Jonathan W Hasleiet, Elementary Principal

Center Point-Urbana Intermediate

Class sizes are going to continue to increase without funding.  Keeping funding even is going backwards since costs continue to increase.

Jay Lutt, Elementary Principal/Superintendent


We are at a critical time in Iowa. Lack of funding is going to hurt kids for years to come…This will haunt the state in the future as these kids head out into the workforce or college.


Kent Stopak, Elementary Principal

Titan Hill Intermediate; Lewis Central

The price of resources – fuel, utilities, textbooks, technology – continue to increase. The expectations to educate all students are increasing, and the needs of students are increasing.

Kim Nelson, Principal

Alden Elementary

We just can’t keep ‘getting by’–it’s not fair to our kids or teachers.

Steve Humphrey,  Principal

Middle School Exira-Elk Horn Kimballton

I have para-professionals in my building who do fabulous work with kids.  I am ashamed of what we pay them.

Jill Burnett Requist, Principal

Carver ES; DMPS

95+% of my families qualify for income subsidies, and 50+% are English language learners. Our need for increased funding is real, and must be a priority.

Bob Schelp, Middle School Principal

East Marshall Middle School

The teacher leadership was a step in the right direction.  Cutting funding for other parts of education hampers programming and staff.  How encouraged will staff be to implement new techniques or strategies if they realize they may be cut next?

Linda Abbott, Principal

West Elementary Knoxville

It is essential that state funding keeps up with costs associated with a materials and technology necessary to educate students. We are currently experiencing an increase in EL populations and will need to provide additional support for these students as well.

TJ Potts, Elementary School Principal

Kennedy- Dubuque

It isn’t all about funding.  Things have changed and we need to adapt as educators, but there is at least some truth to “you get what you pay for” and the legislature is not willing to pay for education.

Mike Richard, Pk-5 Principal


I have a high performing elementary, but it will not stay that way with decreased state funding.  If we value education, back it up with appropriate funding.  4% is appropriate and not excessive.  Thanks!

Tricia Rosendahl, Elementary Principal

Clarion-Goldfield-Dows Elementary

We deal with mental health issues, poverty issues, and no vocabulary background that we have to tackle BEFORE we can begin to teach.  We are registering ELL students in upper elementary and even high school that have never been in school before.  Legislators need to come out to schools in rural Iowa and spend some time understanding.  It isn’t like when you when to school anymore!!!!

Dewey Hupke, Elementary Principal

West Elementary/ Independence

With the limited allowable growth, our school district was forced to eliminate a classroom position.  The position was a 3rd grade classroom.  In 2017, the State of Iowa says all 3rd graders need to read at grade level.  This gets increasingly difficult when the budget of the district is severely limited by the lack of state funding!!

Gayle Allensworth, Principal

Osage  (Lincoln Elementary)

Increased state aid is essential for equitable student programming and staff benefits. Right now we are not even marginally funding the expectation of world-class schools.

Lisa Wunn, Middle School Principal

West Delaware County

…At a time when producing workers with high-level technical and analytical skills is increasingly important to a country and/or state’s prosperity, reduced or no increase in funding for basic education threaten to undermine the nation’s economic future.

Erik Buchholz, Principal

Westfield Elementary / Linn-Mar

Next year will be our third year of the Teacher Leadership Program; which has allowed us as a district to improve teaching and learning across all grade levels. Without the increased funding, many of the leadership positions may have to be dissolved, and their effectiveness will be gone too.

Nathan Wear, Principal

Solon High School

It is absolutely critical to continue to appropriately fund education.  We’re cheating our students, our communities, and our future if we don’t.

John Sheahan, MS Principal

Roland-Story Middle School

We have always prided ourselves as a great education state.  Please continue making this a reality with a 4% increase.

Jeremy Langner, Assistant Principal

Waverly-Shell Rock High School

It isn’t an expense; but rather an investment.

Kristyn Kell, Principal


In a small district like mine I am unable to recruit strong teachers when they are only teaching 3/4 time because we cannot afford a full time teacher.

Amy Andreassen, Principal

English Valleys Elementary/English Valleys

Just this morning, a retired third grade teacher brought in a box of copy paper to donate to our school because she knows we are pinching every penny.


Ann Lebo, Secondary Principal

Grundy Center

Please provide funding for our schools so that every individual in Iowa has the opportunity to live a better life.

Daniel F. Grandfield, PK-4 Principal

Southeast Webster-Grand Elementary

At risk student numbers and costs for at risk students have increased.  Without PROPER funding each year, they will be the first to fall through the cracks.  Then there’s Summer School for Substantially Deficient – how are we supposed to fund that (70 hours) without PROPER funding?

Lynne  Wallace, MS/HS Principal

Mount Ayr MS/HS

For anyone to make an informative decision or build a school budget, all the facts and figures need to be known.  When we do not know the state aid that we will be getting then we do not fill positions.  We now have middle school classes with 29 and 30 students in each class.  Even the very best teachers have difficulty providing interventions or enrichment when that many students are in one class!  Please visit our schools in Iowa to see the needy students that we are trying to serve each day in overcrowded classrooms!…

Karleen Stephens, Superintendent/Elementary Principal

Diagonal Community School

In the past, Governor Branstad was a great supporter of schools. Schools could almost always count on a 4% increase. I don’t know what has happened to the Republican mindset that corporate taxbreaks are more important than adequately funding schools.

Angela Livezey, Superintendent / Elementary Principal

North Mahaska

We are already operating with limited funding and have cut about everything we can cut.  We are very conservative in our spending.  With increased funding our students would benefit by being provided with smaller class sizes, increased instructional resources and programs.

Matt McDonough, HS Principal

Underwood High School/Underwood

With decreased funding each year, it’s more of a plug the biggest hole in the dam and trying to get by as best we can.

Doug Jiskoot, Jr/Sr High Principal

West Lyon

We continue to be asked to do MORE with LESS.  Our plate is overflowing with expectations with no options to get a bigger plate.

Don Hasenkamp, Elementary Principal

Twin Rivers Elementary

If the Governor truly wants to be considered the Education Governor, than he and the legislator are going to need to stand for what they say they stand for or it’s again just political jargon. Fully fund education.


Michelle Arneson, Elementary Principal


We are a small rural school district.  Increased state support for education is EXTREMELY important for our district.

Shelly Petersen, Principal

Vinton-Shellsburg Middle School

Pay now or pay later. If you do not support the schools you will be funding programs to support adults who cannot support themselves.

John A. Ronca, High School Principal

Ballard-High School

It is certainly no secret that the families and students of the Ballard district feel they are not supported appropriately at the state level.  The pressure on the students to keep doing MORE with LESS has been exhausting!

Mindy Mossman, Pleasant View Elem. Principal

Pleasant View Elem. Webster City Schools

We need to support learning in order for Iowa to move up in every way.

Art Sathoff, Superintendent


It is very challenging to do more with less year after year…Categorical funds are appreciated, such as TLC, but they don’t keep the lights on and the doors open. There is a cumulative and lasting effect of several consecutive years of underfunding.

All responses sorted by school district (over 250) are available at: http://iowahouse.org/pdf/1-16schoolleader-survey-webversion.pdf.

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