The Quad Cities' best-selling economic asset is its highly-skilled workforce. When our schools are financially disadvantaged, so is our future workforce. That's why reforming the school funding formula, long term, and allowing schools to spend into their cash reserves, short term, remains a top priority for the Chamber in 2017.
Amid a global war for talent, communities that succeed in attracting and retaining a diverse workforce in particular are the ones which will be the most prosperous in the future. Yet, the most diverse school district in the Iowa Quad Cities is also the one that receives the lowest amount of funding per student. This doubly impacts our region in our ability not only to ensure world-class education for future workers, but also to build the type of inclusive & equitable region that we aspire toward in Q2030.
To that end, we say that the recent editorials have it right - it's time to address the problem of inequity that is built into the existing funding formula.
Chamber member, Steve Grubbs, Victory Enterprises calls for a fix in an article published in the Des Moines Register. Grubbs stated, "The Davenport Community School District is one of many across Iowa who are trapped in this statewide formula that annually underfunds its students at a lower rate than the state average. Most people believe that every student in Iowa is funded at the same level. In fact, this is not the case. Iowa has a very complicated funding formula based on factors established almost 50 years ago that cause a differential in funding per student." Read the full article>>
The Quad-City Times editorial board also weighed in commending Davenport Community School Superintendent Dr. Art Tate efforts in standing up for basic fairness and demanding equity. Read the editorial>>
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