Iowa lawmakers take a small step towards funding equality for Iowa schools

“It’s not ideal, it’s not the perfect bill, it’s not everything that we wanted, it’s not going to take care of all of our inequity...

DAVENPORT - Iowa lawmakers are taking a small step towards funding equality for Iowa schools.

"We have a stake in the ground, now we have a start, we have a bill, we have legislators recognizing that we have this inequality in the funding," said Julie DeSalvo, Davenport School Board Member.

It comes after a bold move by Davenport Superintendent Dr. Art Tate when he broke state law and pulled more than $2 million out of reserve funds to make up the difference.

"It's not ideal, it's not the perfect bill, it's not everything that we wanted, it's not going to take care of all of our inequity problems but it's a wonderful first start for us," said DeSalvo.

Davenport is allowed to spend $175 less per student than many other area districts including Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley.

The new state funding improves the deficit by $5 a student.

State Senator Jim Lykam says the bill is not a good deal for the district.

"To me, something's gotta give and we're under-funding education right now and I mean, I just think that's the wrong direction, our kids our are future," said Lykam.

The bill only covers one year of funding, after that nothing is guaranteed.

"We need to come back and put some serious dollars behind it for all of our children," said Lykam.

It doesn't change things for Dr. Tate, he risks losing his license at a hearing in June.