I hope that you all were able to stay safe throughout the series of blizzards we have had recently. While many of you have been staying put the House has definitely been on the move.
It was a busy legislative week in the House with the passage of 25 bills on Wednesday, several of them were to help address childcare in our state. It was a particularly big week for our K-12 schools with the Senate and the House agreeing on next year’s state funding level for our schools.
- K-12 Funding
Late Thursday afternoon the Iowa House passed an increase to the amount of aid the State of Iowa provides school districts. This percent is in line with the amount increased in the past couple of years. Additionally House Republicans are working to provide an additional 30 million dollars in funding to schools that remained in-person, understanding that that choice added costs to their bottom lines.
I am proud that as a state we continue to find ways to invest in our schools, even through tough economic circumstances. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, inflation in 2020 was 1.4%. This increase to Iowa schools is well above inflation and is a real increase to our schools.
2. HF 49 – Elimination of Tenure
On Wednesday the House Education committee voted to advance HF 49 which would eliminate tenure at our public universities. I was proud to support this measure in committee. Every week this year I hear about problems at our universities. Several students who feel powerless have expressed that professors feel that tenure means they can do whatever they want.
In committee Representative Wheeler made a great point when he stated “Tenure was originally designed to protect diversity of thought on college campuses, however as we have seen clearly in our Regents universities, there is no longer diversity of thought”. I will continue to ensure that this year is a year of positive changes for our universities.