Yup, it’s that time of year, the annual Iowa “Budget Dance and Hoedown”, better known as the Iowa Legislative session, 2016. I’d like to throw out a bunch of key legislators and government officials and their roles in this hoedown, but it’s not about them, it’s about us.
We are the dancers in this great annual event, dancing from party to party, from forum to forum, from phone call to letter saying: “Why are we dancing around the issue of educational funding?” Our caller (see, I’m slipping all ready), Governor Branstad, has given us the first part of our dance, saying that it would be “a stretch” to give education a 2.45% boost in supplemental spending.
I’d point you to people way smarter than I, people like Scott McLeod and Patrick Kearney, writers who’ve hit this topic numerous times and written in ways that I can never do so. However, aside from a few other blogs posts I’ve come across, there are very few others who are using their voice via blog, via social media, to put pressure on our Governor and legislators that our funding situation is not right.
As I’ve been writing on this post for about a week, other things have started popping up. Last night (Tuesday), the hashtag #iaedfuture (a great one to follow) was abuzz with the Iowa House debate about educational funding. At this point, Iowa schools are being set up for a 2% increase in supplemental aid instead of the 2.45% presented by the Governor. House Republicans believe they’ve not once cut or under funded Iowa schools.
The Iowa House passed SF 174 and 175 to fund Iowa Schools. Here is a break down of what that funding looks like: pic.twitter.com/CDQWYPEMS1
— Iowa House GOP (@IAHouseGOP) January 26, 2016
Any Iowa teacher buying this?
I’m getting off subject. My question to you, teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and community member:s
What are you willing to do?
Are you willing to allow your students to be part of 5 years of the lowest educational funding on record?
Are you willing to pay for tax breaks at the expense of your schools?
Are you willing to step forward, attend forums, write letters, get out and vote?
I’ve always heard “you get out of something what you put into it”. What are you willing to put into this process?
Finally, Bernie Sanders took a trip through our area over the weekend, and we, being good parents, pulled our kids out of the warm house to come and see him. We have one daughter who will be able to caucus with us (goodness I’m old) and a daughter who just needs the exposure to the process. As we sat and listened, the one thing I took away: you can’t expect change if you don’t get involved in the process. We talked about that on the way home, that their demographic needs to get involved. What about us as Iowans? We are “Iowa Nice” and need to lose that and fight for what we do believe in. If we don’t, the hoedown we are in will only continue to spin out of our control.
And we’ll get more of this:
— Scott McLeod (@mcleod) January 26, 2016