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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Transportation costs and school funding

A letter to our legislators:

Rural Iowa is on a slippery slope.  The fine folks who live and work in our small communities contribute mightily to the Iowa economic landscape through agricultural production and exports of food and fuel.  Yet, these people are losing influence and relevance in our statehouse every decade.  Our rural population continues to dwindle as young people move to urban areas or other states searching for good paying jobs.  As a result we have fewer and fewer representatives supporting us at every reapportionment.   Please consider yourselves representatives of ALL of Iowa as you consider education funding for our future.

I am very excited to see serious discussion on a form of transportation support for Iowa school districts.  As a shared superintendent, I serve two rural districts who have entered into a whole grade sharing agreement just a year ago.  We are providing education to 1200 rural PK-12 students who populate 300 square miles in 8 different communities of  NE Iowa.   In this sharing agreement we are achieving an economy of scale and improving the opportunities for our students.  But we have also increased our transportation costs by 20% and 45% in these two districts.

North Fayette now spends