Education Takes Its 10% Cut

Gov. Culver’s $238 million cut to Iowa school districts continues to make headlines. School districts keep their spending authority but can recoup the loss by hiking local property taxes to make up the difference.

How did other sectors of education fare? The Board of Regent has until October 29th to separately submit their cuts totaling $60 million. Shortly after Culver announced his cut, the Board offered the possibility of a second semester increase in student fees or “tuition surcharge” to partially offset the loss.

1. The Department of the Blind sees a $225,000 in state funding. The agency will not reduce staff but will cut overtime, delay delivery of textbooks and general library materials and delay routine maintenance.

2. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission sees a $6.3 million reduction with students shouldering the loss including:

  • The 505 students receiving the Iowa Opportunity Scholarship serving will be cut by $490 per student
  • The 15,000 private college students receiving an Iowa Tuition Grant will be cut by approximately $320 per student
  • The 3,000 students receiving a Vocational Technical Grant will be cut approximately $85 per student

3. The Iowa Department of Education is cut $25 million with 10 percent reductions in key programs such as early childhood, before and after school programs and interpreters for the deaf.

Iowa’s community colleges lose $16 million in state general aid and $200,000 in faculty salary funding.

Iowa parents lose nearly $900,000 in preschool tuition assistance and local community empowerment areas loose another $750,000 in school ready grant funding.

Iowa school districts lose another $1.4 million in public option preschool grant money.

The loss of state funding jeopardizes federal funding in the following areas:

  • A $225,000 reduction in state school lunch funding means Iowa looses $815,000 in federal school lunch money. According to the Iowa DE the impact “will result in a higher cost of student lunches.”
  • A $60,000 reduction in state vocational education funding means a like loss in federal funds, but more importantly the Iowa DE says: “Reduction in this funding jeopardizes the entire funding stream ($12 million)
  • A $155,000 reduction in state special education funding for early childhood “jeopardizes the entire $4 million in maintenance of basic funding and $4.5 million in ARRA funding.”

The Iowa Department of Education itself will not reduce employees but will consider furloughs equal to the salary of 14 employees.

4. Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation sees a $540,000 cut resulting in a $2.0 million loss in federal matching aid. The agency expects to lose 14 FTEs

5. Iowa Public Television is reduced by $1 million. IPTV reductions include:

  • Loss of up to 6 FTEs
  • No broadcast between midnight and 6 a.m.
  • No summer episodes of Iowa Press and The Iowa Journal