SE Iowa educators pleased with state's budget proposal

    Ottumwa students work on their class assignment at Wilson Elementary School April 5, 2018/KTVO

    Iowa educators might be getting more of a financial boost than they're used to.

    State lawmakers are proposing a 2.1 percent increase this session, which is twice the amount that was approved in the past two years.

    "Like a lot of other school officials will say, the percent could always be higher, but after a couple years of some pretty low rates that haven't kept up with our growth and expenditures, them talking at a higher level, 2 percent, is nice and it's something that helps during the budget process," said John Berg, Chief Financial Officer with the Ottumwa Community School District.

    The nearly $80 million boost is slightly less than the amount Governor Kim Reynolds outlined in her budget. Fairfield Superintendent Dr. Laurie Noll said she's pleased with the proposed increase, even if it's not what the governor initially asked for.

    "We're appreciative that education has been in the forefront, and Governor Reynolds is also looking at the students, and the outcome after they graduate, making sure that they are work-ready when they graduate," Noll said.

    She added that this increase will certainly alleviate some of the financial stress, but the district will still come up short this fiscal year.

    Lawmakers are expected to reach a decision next week.

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