More than 40% of Iowa public school students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, compared to 27% a decade ago.
That number is at an all-time high for Iowa according to the state’s annual Condition of Education report issued January 31, 2013.
“Poverty is an important barrier to learning,” the report said, “However education is a critical component in breaking this cycle.”
Most Iowa school districts – 96% – offer preschool now.
High school seniors who take the ACT in Iowa score an average of 22.1 on the test, just above the national average of 21.1 points out of a possible 36. Iowa also has the highest graduation rate in the nation.
The state spent about the same amount per student as last year, spending just under $9,500 per student.
The number of full-time public school teachers remained relatively unchanged over the past 12 years. The average salary for those teachers increased by about $1,000 in comparison to last year, and Iowa ranks 25th in the nation for teacher pay. The average full-time public school teacher in Iowa is 41.8 years old.