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Legislative Update

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The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on education-related matters.

Final Action


Governor: Terry E. Branstad (R)

FY 1988-89 state budget: $2.64 billion
FY 1988-89 K-12 budget: $1.09 billion
FY 1986-87 K-12 budget: $1.02 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +6 percent


  • Increased state aid to school districts by $66 million.
  • Delayed implementation of a requirement that districts increase vocational-education course offerings from five to 10 units. Commission will study possible collaboration in such courses between schools and community colleges.
  • Allowed local school boards to levy special property taxes or income surtaxes to pay for asbestos removal.
  • Provided early-retirement incentives for state employees and bonuses of up to $5,000 to teachers ages 59 to 65 who retire due to school mergers.
  • Deferred for one year criminal prosecution of non-certified schools or home schools not complying with state regulations.
  • Allowed students to attend neighboring school districts for valid educational reasons without paying out-of-district tuition.
  • Required that half of all tax-exempt bonds issued by the state Board of Regents be sold for $1,000 each with the aim of helping parents save for college expenses.
  • Killed a bill that would have rescinded the state's tax credit and deduction for private- and public-school expenses.


Governor: Kay A. Orr (R)

FY 1987-88 state budget: $1.9 billion (Approved June 1987)
FY 1987-88 K-12 budget: $245.2 million
Addition to K-12 budget: $10.7 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +9 percent


  • State aid to schools increased by $10.7 million, fully restoring 1983 funding level.
  • Allowed school employees with 35 years of service to receive full retirement benefits at age 60.
  • Passed compromise school-reorganization bill that does not require district consolidations, but sets in motion a process slated to begin by 1990. Commission will study the issue.
  • $10 million for pay increases at state colleges and universities.
  • Killed bills that would have required statewide testing and the elimination of the state board of education.

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