The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2004 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
During the 2005 legislative session, Iowa lawmakers revived the state’s initiative on teacher quality and responded to Gov. Tom Vilsack’s call for improving the quality and availability of preschool and child care.
Overall K-12 funding climbed by 5 percent to $2.2 billion for fiscal 2006. Some education programs, though, saw more significant increases.
The teacher-quality initiative, which had been in danger of being dismantled for lack of financing, saw a $24.3 million increase, to $69.6 million, for the new fiscal year. The ambitious effort, adopted by the legislature in 2001, seeks to boost teacher salaries, establish teaching standards, and increase training.
Every Iowa teacher will receive an additional day of professional development this coming school year, at a total cost of $10 million. Another $6.6 million can be used by school districts to increase teacher training or pay.
Yet the $12 million in cuts made two years ago to area education agencies, the state’s main providers of teacher training, was not restored.
A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2005 edition of Education Week