The Fight For 4%

Around 50 student representatives from the Cedar Rapids Community School District traveled to Des Moines on Wednesday to meet representatives, discuss education funding, and lobby for a 4% increase in education funding in Iowa.

Students met initially with Cedar Rapids representative Ken Rizer, and argued the proposed 2% increase in funding backed by Rizer and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

A 2% increase in funding proposed is to battle the proposed 4% increase passed by the House. The suggested House funding would not cover the district costs, and would lead to $2.7 million in budget cuts. Governor Branstad proposed a 2.45% increase, which would cause $2 million in cuts to the district. In order to maintain the level of services and staff, CRCSD would require at least 3.72% Supplemental State Aid level increase.

A common argument students encountered throughout the day by various Republican representatives was the lack of money in the budget. Democrats, however, argued that there were money reserves the state holds, which should be allocated to education.

Students on the trip to Des Moines were given a tour of the capital, and the opportunity to lobby for education support, talking with members of the House and the Senate about the importance of education funding.

At the end of the day, Kennedy students Kyle Scheer, sr., Michael Ciabatti, sr., and Austin Wu, sr., announced a new district wide club called the Iowa Student Union, which would commit their efforts to lobbying for education funding and raising awareness of the issue.

Kennedy’s chapter of the Iowa Student Union will hold their first official meeting on Monday, Feb 15 during Tutorial A in room 163. Read more about the impending budget cuts to the district in the new issue of the Torch, coming out Mar 31.