The Forest City School District invites the public to attend a May 30 informational meeting on public school finance. Guest speaker Larry Sigel, partner at Iowa School Finance Information Services, will overview the basics of the Iowa school funding formula and will provide insight into Forest City’s historical trends and how state policy level decisions impact our school district. Two learning opportunities, noon – 1 p.m. or 7-8 p.m., will be offered on May 30 at the TSB Bank Community Room.
“We invited Larry to speak because he has worked with our district in the past and does an excellent job breaking down educational finance in terms of how the state funding works and how it impacts the decisions we make,” said Darwin Lehmann, superintendent. Mr. Sigel will cover the basics of Iowa school funding including where the resources come from, how funds are allowed to be spent and what school districts spend the resources on. He will provide insight into our district’s financial trends and talk about “pressure points” we are facing. He will summarize by outlining state policy decisions and how they impact Forest City. There will be time for Q&A. “Understanding the connection between the actions of the legislature, demographics and ultimately the programs that we are offering to children have a profound impact on communities,” said Sigel.
Lehmann concluded, “Whether you are a parent, grandparent, teacher or taxpayer, I hope you join us. Understanding how the single largest state and local government expenditure in Iowa is funded and spent allows more informed interaction with elected officials.”
Iowa School Finance Information Services (ISFIS) was created in 2009 to provide electronic finance tools and financial consulting services to Iowa public schools. Partner Larry Sigel brings over 20 years state and local government analytical experience. Larry has a BA degree in Financial Management from the University of Iowa (1988) and a MA degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa (1990). Larry’s work background includes 10 years (1990 to 2000) at the nonpartisan Iowa Legislative Fiscal Bureau staffing Administration Appropriations Subcommittee, Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Ways and Means Committees for both Chambers. Mr. Sigel then spent 9 years as the School Finance Director for the Iowa Association of School Boards developing school finance content including legislative support, spreadsheet and tool development to allow school districts to understand and manage their finances. Larry’s extensive experience in helping school leaders in districts of all sizes at the local level, his state level policy and tax expertise, and his commitment to state of the art technology tools to lighten the workload for all, uniquely positions him to support policy development, strategic planning and advocacy at the statehouse.