Capitol Review 1/23/15

Education Funding

From 2002 to 2012, education funding in Iowa was a tumultuous period.  This is evidenced by numerous across the board cuts – which affected education and every other area of the budget – and moves by the legislature to underfund the state’s responsibility in the school funding formula.  Over that decade it happened no less than 6 times with the capstone being the 2010 10% across-the-board cut.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this graph is worth $530 million dollars. 

education graph

The result of increasing state spending to unsustainable levels and spending one-time money for ongoing expenses mixed with an economic collapse caused education funding in this state to take a $530 million loss in one single year.  The state is still trying to recover from that loss.  This is an example that the House looks to as we form our budgeting principles.

It was on this foundation that House Republicans and Governor Branstad begin their work in 2011 of stabilizing not only education funding but the entire budget, while at the same time providing unprecedented growth to school funding.

Over $450 million new state dollars have been appropriated to Iowa’s schools since Republicans gained control of the House and the Governor’s office.  Some of these years have seen more growth than at any point in Iowa’s history. 

Capitol Review 1/16/15

rogers oath
Governor Branstad’s Budget Proposal

The Governor’s Budget spends $7.3410 billion in FY 2016, an increase of $346.7 million over FY 2015 or 4.95 percent.  Branstad’s FY 2016 proposal spends more money than the Revenue Estimating Conference’s December ongoing revenue estimate of $7.1946 billion. The gap between ongoing revenue and the Governor’s budget is approximately $146.4 million. 

For FY 2017, the Governor is proposing a General Fund budget of $7.5252 billion.  This would be an increase of $184.2 million or 2.50 percent.

Each of the past four years, the budget passed by the Legislature has spent less than what the Governor proposed.  The FY 2016 budget will continue this trend.

90 percent of Iowa’s budget goes to three areas - School aid ($2.9 billion), wages and benefits for state employees ($2.1 billion), and Medicaid ($1.6 billion).

Over the past decade, state revenue has grown by 4.1 percent annually, state spending on K-12 education grew by 4.2 percent, and Medicaid grew by 11.7 percent.

55 percent of the Governor’s FY 2016 budget proposal is targeted to education.

House Republicans are looking forward to working with Governor Branstad and Senate Democrats to put together a budget that keeps Iowa in a strong financial position.


PO Box 1142
Cedar Falls, IA 50613



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