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Cuts In Education Budget Will Cost Iowa Federal Funds

Posted by on Thursday, 3 February, 2011

Governor Terry E. Branstad

 – A proposal by the Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, to reduce the education budget by almost $413,000 will have larger ramifications. Education officials said yesterday that the cuts will cause the state to lose approximately $25.8 million in federal grants. To receive federal money, in many instances states must match a portion of the spending, so when a state makes cuts, it’s federal funding is reduced as well.

These federal losses include $11.2 million that the state usually collects to aid districts with reduced-price and free school lunches for deserving students. Local residents will have to pay higher taxes to cover the difference. Other options include raising the cost of meal plans for students, or making cuts to programs and services.

The Director of the Education Department, Jason Glass, has met with Gov. Branstad to resolve this issue before the Legislature faces it. Branstad’s recommendations are actually almost $642,000 less than what the department has requested.

Jeff Berger, chief financial officer for the education department said “It’s a 1-to-63 ratio, so whenever you cut $1, you’re losing 63 federal dollars.”

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