Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:43 AM PST
Open Letter to Governor Branstad from Senator Herman Quirmbach, Chair of the Senate Education Committee
Dear Governor Branstad,
Last Thursday, you told the Iowa State Board of Education, “We were complacent for too long, and others passed us by. Now we’re playing catch-up.”
Governor, you are right that Iowa needs to catch up with the investments other states are making in their kids’ education. The problem is, under your education budget, Iowa students wouldn’t catch up. They’d fall further behind!
Governor, what is your answer to a survey of Iowa school superintendents in which 205 out of 206 superintendents rejected your education budget? (Updated: 206-0)
Governor, what do you tell these superintendents and others who see that your budget would cause teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms, and reduced class offerings, all of which would hurt the quality of our kids’ education?
Governor, are you concerned that Iowa has already fallen to 35th in the nation in per-pupil spending and that our kids will only fall further behind if your school aid budget for next year is adopted?
Governor, you said in your Condition of the State speech that Iowans “rightly expect our state budget to reflect their priorities.” What are we to think of your priorities when your budget doesn’t come close to investing in our kids what other states are investing in their kids?
What do you have to say to local community leaders like the superintendent of the Union School District, who wrote “This is no way to build world class schools”?
Governor, Iowa students, Iowa families, and Iowa businesses need you to stand up for Iowa’s local schools and the crucial role they play in preparing our kids for a high-skill, high-wage Iowa economy.
Governor Branstad, when it comes to investing in local education, Iowa does need to catch up. We need to start NOW rather than falling further behind.