Senator Rich Taylor’s Column

Written by on April 4, 2014 in News

Our state has a history of great local schools and outstanding colleges and universities. Iowa students have the chance to go as far as their talent can take them. This year’s Education Budget, approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, helps ensure that opportunity continues to be available to future generations.
SF 2347 provides funding for our community colleges, state universities, and other agencies that prepare well-educated, well-trained workers who can help Iowa succeed in today’s global economy.
Iowans and businesses value the opportunities that our high-quality community colleges provide. Their role in education and job training is growing, but funding is not keeping up. On top of that, inflation is making a college education more costly than ever.
That’s why we want to provide an increase of $8 million in general aid to our community colleges. This funding will help keep tuition rates down so that all Iowans who want to further their education can afford to do it—whether they are high school grads earning their first college credits or working parents who want to learn a new skill to qualify for a better job.
Affordability at the University of Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa is of equal concern. The average student graduating from one of our state universities has almost $27,000 in debt. That’s an increase of 57 percent over the last decade. To ensure Iowa’s bright young people can get the education our top-notch public universities offer, we want to increase funding by $24 million. The Board of Regents has assured us that these dollars will prevent a tuition increase for the second straight year.
The Education Budget will next be debated by the full Senate. You can track the progress of this important bill by following SF 2347 on the Iowa Legislature’s website.
Southeastern Iowa Community College Trustees talked with legislators about funding for Iowa’s high-quality community colleges. I’m voting to boost the state’s investment in community colleges this year. These new dollars will help keep tuition rates down so that all Iowans who want to further their education can afford to do it. Pictured with me, from left: Lanny Hillyard, Brian Roth, Moudy Nabulsi, Sherry Zeller, Janet Fife-LaFrenz and Senator Tom Courtney.

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