The Capitol Report by Sen. Rich Taylor
This is a legislative update from Sen. Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.
Iowa is known for quality schools and teachers.
We value our education system and the many opportunities it provides our children. Strengthening those opportunities is a top priority for me in my work at the Statehouse.
After several lean years, the Legislature needs to quickly approve funding this session for our local public schools. They need to know what their budgets look like so that they can make smart, timely decisions to provide the best educational opportunities for our kids.
While most Iowa students attend our public schools, some families choose a different type of education for their children. In fact, more than 35,000 Iowa kids attend non-public schools.
This is Iowa School Choice Week, Catholic Schools Week and National Lutheran Schools Week.
It is a good opportunity to recognize the quality education provided in all Iowa schools, including Holy Trinity in Fort Madison, Keokuk Catholic Schools and Holy Trinity Elementary in West Point in my senate district.
In the most recent fiscal year, the Legislature approved more than $37 million to increase services for Iowa students who attend accredited, non-public K-12 schools.
Financial aid comes in many forms, including money for transportation - $8.5 million, media and education services through Area Education Associations - $3.5 million and tuition and textbook tax credits - an estimated $24 million.
Funding for our students and schools is about investing in a strong Iowa future. We can offer the educational choices and opportunities that Iowa families want for their kids without making it a partisan issue.
To contact Sen. Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 319-931-1568. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For newsletters, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.
Taylor is vice-chair of the Agriculture Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Judiciary, Local Government and Transportation committees, as well as the Justice Systems Budget Subcommittee.