Iowa Senate Approves a 4 Percent School Budget Growth Formula

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Schools would be allowed to grow their budgets by 4 percent in the 2013 -2014 school year under a bill approved this morning by the Iowa Senate.

The budget limit, commonly known as allowable growth, has been a longtime law that school advocates say helps schools plan future budgets before they lock in tax rates, certify budgets with the state and enter into contracts with staff.

But the fate of the bill is grim as it heads to the Republican-controlled House that has pushed to eliminate the requirement that the legislature set the growth rate.

Gov. Terry Branstad and other statehouse Republicans have said they don’t want to set the outlying year’s growth rates so that it can instead focus on a number of education reforms that are bound to cost the state more money, like teacher compensation and potentially tinkering with the length of the school year.

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