Allowable growth not set, school districts concerned

The Iowa General Assembly promised and passed a law last session saying that they would take action and fund allowable growth for the stateâ??s school districts in the first 30 days of the 2013 session.

Being that it is mid-February, the 30 days has passed, and only the senate has passed an allowable growth measure.

The bill that was passed in the senate set the allowable growth rate at four percent; but it does not look like that particular bill will pass in the republican controlled house; which worries the smaller-rural school districts.

â??Without that allowable growth rate, we have different scenarios that are going to affect our property tax owners,â?? said Joel Pedersen, Superintendent of the Cardinal Community School District.

Pedersen added that his district needs the extra funding due to the rising cost of fuel and other goods.

â??We are asking for four percent allowable growth; and the state has $822 million in surplus. We are asking four percent to fund increases in fuel costs, increases in electricity, supplies, whatever it may be,â?? Pedersen said.

The allowable growth rate would not only benefit the school district, but also property tax owners.

â??We do not feel that it is an unfair request at four percent allowable growth, which will also help our local tax payers pay less in taxes because the state aide would pay a higher percentage of our school budget,â?? Pedersen said.

All districts need to know what the allowable growth rate as soon as possible, being that their budgets are due by April 15.

Pedersen and the Cardinal Community School District School Board adopted a resolution explaining why the district and other districts need the four percent growth rate.

You can view that here - Cardinal Community School District Resolution.