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Iowa governor signs education funding bills

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the education funding bills sent to her last week by lawmakers providing a 2 percent increase in state per-pupil funding for the budget year beginning in July.

Reynolds signed the bills Tuesday morning at the Iowa Capitol.

The measures boost per-pupil support from the state general fund to nearly $3.3 billion. Democrats had proposed an amendment that would have provided 3 percent but Republicans holding a majority of votes rejected it.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, an Ames Democrat and ranking member of the Senate Education Committee, argued 3 percent would have made up for inflationary losses over the past two years and provided a modest increase.

Reynolds says it provides the funding to "continue moving forward in preparing our young people for the challenges of a 21st-century economy."

The bill includes teacher professional development and leadership compensation.

Reynolds also will sign a separate bill to provide schools $21.3 million, including funding for transportation in districts where the cost of busing students is higher.

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