The days of borrowing from education dollars to pay to transport students to and from school in northern Iowa may have just come to an end. Today Gov. Reynolds was joined by lawmakers and education advocates when she signed S.F. 2164, an education funding bill designed to help schools with transportation funding and per-pupil student equity.
“We live in a disruptive, technologically-driven economy, and if we aren’t preparing our students to succeed in the 21st century, then we are failing them,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This legislation will help Iowa’s many rural school districts absorb transportation costs and put more money into the classroom. Education is always a top priority, and we will continue to look for ways to provide every school, educator, and student with the tools for success.”
Area schools such as North Iowa Community Schools, Forest City Community Schools, and West Hancock Schools will benefit considering the size of their districts and the associated costs in transportation. Belmond-Klemme, Garner Hayfield Ventura, and Lake Mills Districts will also benefit.
Transportation equity was first funded in FY 19 to help absorb transportation costs associated with students traveling across rural communities. S.F. 2164 provides more than $7.2 million in new funding for the 204 school districts with transportation costs above the statewide average of $347.65 per pupil and provides $5.9 million for per-pupil spending equity.
In her Condition of the State address, Gov. Reynolds called for over $103 million in new funding for Iowa schools, including an increase in per-pupil funding and transportation equity. With that investment, the state of Iowa will have spent $13 billion on PreK-12 since 2017.
SF 2164: an act relating to public school funding by modifying provisions relating to the regular program state cost per pupil and to appropriations to the transportation equity fund and including effective date provisions.