Rhetoric …

When word got out the governor was seriously thinking about vetoing the one-time money for schools next year, we were encouraged to contact the governor’s office … which I did.  Below is the response I received yesterday … more rhetoric without saying anything.  I fully understand the volume of correspondence the governor’s office must receive – overwhelming.  However, if time is taken for a response perhaps sharing a straightforward answer would be better than extolling all the wonderful things the governor is doing.  Although I may not like the answer, if an actual answer is given I can respect the process.  Throwing things against the wall to see what may stick is not a straightforward answer – neither is rhetoric that says absolutely nothing – neither is justifying action by continuing to throw the legislature under the bus.  This isn’t how it’s supposed to work ….

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Dear Kevin,

Thank you for writing Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds about preK-12 education funding. Giving Iowa children a world-class education is one of their top priorities, so that all students learn the content and skills needed to succeed in today’s knowledge-driven economy. That is why the administration has targeted historic funding for education reform, including better utilizing the leadership of many of Iowa’s outstanding teachers to improve instruction and raise achievement.

Governor Branstad is committed to predictability and stability in the state budget. Using one-time money without the Legislature establishing regular school funding for Fiscal Year 2017 does not provide school districts with the certainty they need to plan.

Iowa’s preK-12 schools will receive more than $3 billion next school year, the single largest share of the state’s $7.2 billion budget. In addition to Iowa’s new Teacher Leadership System, education reform measures include a comprehensive literacy initiative to assure children read by the end of third grade and an expansion of Iowa Learning Online to offer more courses to high school students statewide.

Thank you again for writing, and please feel free to let me know of any concerns in the future.

Sincerely,

Office of the Governor

Linda Fandel, Education Policy Advisor

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