It's about time

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A K-12 state education budget deal has been reached by leaders of the Iowa legislature, and it appears to be headed for approval by both chambers, at long last. Such a funding agreement is more than a year overdue.

The federal government is not the only example in this country of partisan gridlock.

The deal will increase the education budget by 1.25 percent, as proposed by Republicans, and supplement the increase with a one-time $55.7 million spending bill to meet the 2.62 percent increase proposed by Democrats.

The practical impact of separating out the $55.7 million is that it will not be part of the base for future calculations on the basis of percentage.

The Democrats seem to have gotten the better deal. The lower base for calculation in the future does not prevent the legislature from approving whatever future education funding that the legislators and governor feel the state can afford based on revenue.

The deal itself is not the problem. It is the failure of the legislature to meet its required timeline in order for school boards to meet their required budget deadlines with the information they need.

The legislature needs to do better in the future.