Iowa lawmakers know all too well that Davenport schools fell short in the fight to equalize education funding during the last legislative session.
But with the superintendent's job and school board in jeopardy, this battle isn't over.
"We feel that's one of the most important things that every child deserves, equal funding in the state of Iowa," said Rich Clewell, a Davenport School Board member, on Wednesday, July 12.
It's giving Iowa Democrats more ammunition in a crowded field to unseat Gov. Kim Reynolds in 2018.
IA Sen. Nate Boulton, (D) Des Moines, cited Davenport's dilemma during a discussion at the Davenport Library.
One of about a half-dozen Democrats vying for the job, he says Iowa should be better than that.
"It's certainly better than underfunding education," he said. "Something we've held out as an Iowa value and a priority for generations."
Boulton criticizes the Reynolds administration for putting cities like Davenport at risk. He warns that the cuts will not allow Iowa to reach its potential.
"I can see it," he continued. "It is over-extension of these tax credits and exemptions that are costing our state dearly right now."
He blames Republicans for the fallout over privatizing Medicaid and making severe cuts to mental health programs. Reductions that, experts warn, will lead to more expensive emergency room care in the long run.
"We need to be investing in education," said Davenport Alderman Maria Dickmann, (2nd Ward). "We need to be investing in health care, investing in our neighborhoods."
Boulton plans to stand out in a crowded field of challengers by sticking to his theme.
"As people are being affected by declining services in state government, declining opportunities in the state, we want to highlight just exactly what's causing those problems," he said.
For him, Republican problems that need Democratic solutions.