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Iowa educators warn K-12 budget plan will lead to cuts

In rural school districts, superintendents warned financial obligations like putting new money toward employee retirement plans will eat up a lot of the new appropriations.

Posted: Feb. 7, 2018 2:40 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Some school superintendents in Iowa say a K-12 education spending plan moving through the Legislature will not keep up with rising annual costs for their districts and will lead to budget cuts.

Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled chambers scheduled floor votes Wednesday to approve $32 million in new funding. That's a 1 percent increase to Iowa's $3.2 billion K-12 education budget, the largest expenditure in a roughly $7.2 billion state budget.

Officials in the Des Moines school district, the state's largest, say it will lead to more than $11 million in cuts. In more rural school districts, superintendents warned financial obligations like putting new money toward employee retirement plans will eat up a lot of the new appropriations.

Republicans say public education is a priority at the Capitol amid budget constraints.

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