Posts tagged: Education

House Republicans Gave Iowa Schools a #BetterDeal in 2017

Education for Iowa’s children is one of our top priorities and House Republicans are committed to providing a world-class education for Iowa’s students.

During the 2017 legislative session, House Republicans increased funding for K-12 education, provided more funding flexibility, and allowed for more decision making at the local level.  Most importantly, House Republicans broadened the conversation about education beyond the yearly decision on how much additional money to invest.

It’s clear that following the 2017 session, Iowa schools are getting a #BetterDeal.

Giving schools more flexibility

House Republicans recognize that no two school districts are exactly alike and have worked to allow schools to better meet the specific needs of their students and teachers.

One of the major achievements of the 2017 session was providing school districts with more flexibility.  House Republicans worked closely with school boards, superintendents, and other officials to craft a flexibility plan that will likely benefit every district.

This plan gives schools more allowable uses on funding and loosens many of the strings that are tied to various sources of funding.  It also allows schools to use funds that are continually stuck in accounts, due to burdensome state restrictions, on specific needs that needs that they have.

Continue reading how schools are getting a #BetterDeal


Week Eleven Press Conference Highlights


Week Three News Conference Highlights


Caucus Staff Analysis – Tuesday, January 27

Website article header

Below is a list of bills being debated today, with Caucus Staff’s analysis attached:

To see the full House Debate Calendar, click here.


Rep. Jorgensen’s Opening Comments on Education Funding

Ron JorgensenI first want to thank all of those who attended and provided comments at the public hearing last night. It was evident that we have a lot of high quality passionate people who believe in having a strong educational system within the state. I believe in that also.

I’ve heard a number of times, if we didn’t spend money on the education reform we would have more money for SSA. If we didn’t do the property tax reform we would have more money for SSA. That is true. But if you are going to succeed in any venture you must be willing to invest strategically into the future. If something is not working you must change it; if the competition is changing you must also change. Refusing to change will assure only one thing.   Failure.  Continuing to prioritize funding into a system that has seen declining enrollments and stagnant achievement results will result in future failure. That is why our investment with Education Reform AND property tax reform is so important. If we don’t spur economic development through improving our education system and lowering our tax rates we will only continue to see enrollment declines and stagnant achievement results.    But that takes money and that —and  for the short term creates hurt and sacrifice in other areas.   But the future benefit is worth it.

Continue reading…


Week Two Press Conference Highlights


Iowa Ranked #3 in Child Well-Being

Yesterday the Anne E. Casey Foundation released their 2014 KidsCount report, a data book on state trends in child well-being, and determined that Iowa is the third best state in the country for kids.  Massachusetts and Vermont were the only two states to place above Iowa.

KidsCount Ranks

The report scored each state based on four measures:

  1. Economic Well-Being
  2. Education
  3. Health
  4. Family and Community

Iowa scored very well in all four categories, even earning the top spot for child health.

Iowa’s ranks:

  • Economic Well-Being – 3rd
  • Education – 13th
  • Health – 1st
  • Family and Community – 7th

Click here to read the full report.


House Republicans: Investing in Community Colleges and Iowa’s Workforce

House Republicans have been working to make sure that Iowa offers quality, affordable community college opportunities as well as making sure that we have the skilled workers to fill 21st century jobs in the state.  Over the last six years, House Republicans have crafted budgets that provide an increase of over $52 million in community college funding.  Click the table below to see an enlarged version of funding since FY 2010:

CC Funding

52 milOver the last four years House Republicans:

  • Created policies that embolden Iowa employers to invest in the state and the workforce.
  • Continued our collaboration with community colleges on workforce training and job creation and protected the funding by creating the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund which now houses all of the worker training programs:
    • Funded this at over $130 million total over the last two years
    • Of this, $33.8 million went to the High-Quality Jobs Program and $1 million to help companies hire STEM interns
    •  Also funded skilled worker shortage grants, workforce training, adult literacy for the workforce, tuition assistance
  • Increased Community College ability to educate Iowa’s workforce by increasing their general operating fund by $38 million over the past 4 years, a nearly 25% increase
  • Encouraged Iowans to pursue fields and careers to fill the technical and in-demand jobs Iowa employers are looking to hire.
  • Fought against any retreat on the historic property tax relief approved last session.

Per Pupil Funding: Up $1,200 per Student Over Last Four Years

Over the last four years the per pupil amount of funding received by school districts has increased $1,200 per student to just shy of $10,000 per student.  This amount includes all funding from state, local, and federal sources.

Per Pupil Funding

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Jorgensen Awarded “2014 Friend of Afterschool Award”

Rep. Ron Jorgensen (R-Sioux City)

Rep. Ron Jorgensen (R-Sioux City)

Last Wednesday, Rep. Ron Jorgensen (R-Sioux City) was named the 2014 Friend of Afterschool Award winner by the Iowa Afterschool Alliance.

According to the Alliance, the Friend of Afterschool is the elected official that has been the most influential in advancing afterschool issues in public policy.  Jorgensen was selected for his crucial work in moving forward legislation to fund an extended learning pilot program through the Iowa Department of Education.

The award will be presented to Rep. Jorgensen after the 2014 Impact Afterschool Conference in Johnston on Friday, April 25, 2014.