DAVENPORT - Iowa lawmakers are ready to go back to business on school funding when the legislative session starts on Monday, January 8.
The Republican-controlled house and senate are likely to keep a tight grip on the purse in 2018.
"It's really important that we fund our schools at the appropriate levels," said Sen. Rita Hart, (D) Clinton. "We need to do everything we can to make sure that the state of Iowa is educating students."
Iowa school districts aren't expecting big increases. After modest hikes during the past eight years, cash-strapped schools expect to be in for more of the same.
"About 45% of our budget goes for K-12 education." said Rep. Ross Paustian, (R) Walcott. "It's going to be a tight budget this year. I don't know where we'll end up at, but I don't think it's going to be very much."
While Davenport schools continue to fight for equalized school funding, it could be difficult to impress representatives.
"A lot of districts, the big issue is transportation," continued Rep. Paustian. "We've got those two issues kind of fighting each other."
Both parties know that school funding is crucial for Iowa's future. But just how much they will deliver remains up for grabs.
"The past few years have not been good for education funding," concluded Sen. Hart. "We're in for another tight budget session."
Back to session next week in Des Moines as big decisions loom on the horizon about school funding.