Davenport attorney sues state to equalize school funding for Iowa kids

DAVENPORT, Iowa - A Davenport attorney is suing the state of Iowa in an effort to level the playing field for school funding.

State officials were served with the paperwork on Tuesday, December 20, 2016.

Attorney Cathy Cartee says that the current funding formula for schools is unfair.

"I hope the final decision comes fast," she said.  "They have to do what's right.  They have to treat all students the same."

Davenport and some 160 other Iowa school districts receive less money per pupil than others, a fact Davenport Superintendent Art Tate has been battling for years. The difference can reach up to $175 per student.  Recently, the fight has landed him in hot water with the Iowa Department of Education.

Cartee says the out-dated funding formula shortchanges students and school districts across Iowa.

"They should all get what the highest district is getting," she said.  "Regardless of race, religion, any discrimination, everyone should get the same amount of money across the state of Iowa."

Tate says the district intentionally overspent cash reserves to make up the shortfall from state funding.

Cartee hopes for a legislative solution but isn't optimistic.

"I hope it means they get what they deserve," she concluded.  "They all get the same."