Branstad Talks Education Reform in Dubuque

by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - In 1992 Iowa led the nation in student achievement. At that time, 37 percent of the overall budget went to education. Governor Terry Branstad said, today 43 percent of the budget goes to education and Iowa has dropped to 25th in the nation for student achievement.

Branstad said, "Just more money isn't the answer. We have to have accountability. We have to have things that are going to improve student achievement."

But improving student achievement requires teachers, and that's what Dubuque School Board member Craig Beytien says schools will lose without the full 4 percent allowable growth.

Beytien said, "if we end up with zero percent allowable growth, we are definitely going to be cutting positions. And that's something we just don't want to do. "

Districts still don't know how much money they'll have to work with for next school year, because lawmakers in Des Moines are arguing about education reform.

Republicans agreed to more funding but only if teacher evaluations are tied to student test scores.

Branstad said, "we are willing to provide 4 percent additional state aid, each of the next three years in we get the education reforms. "

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