Iowa Senate Approves Boost to School Funding

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state Senate has approved a plan to boost funding for Iowa schools in the coming school year, though it's not clear the bills will get backing from the rest of the Legislature or the governor.

The proposal would increase state school support by 4 percent, or $135 million. Legislators in the Democratic-majority Senate on Wednesday also approved a plan to provide additional money from a budget surplus fund to prevent local property tax increases for schools and to reduce the property tax rate in some districts.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, who sponsored the plan, says districts need to know what funding to expect.

Gov. Terry Branstad opposes setting funding until lawmakers approve his education reform plan, which raises minimum teacher salaries and provides incentive bonuses to some educators.

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