Mike Gronstal, from Council Bluffs, has been the Senate Democratic Leader since 1997. First elected to office in 1982, Gronstal served one term in the Iowa House (1983-85), and is currently in his seventh term in the Senate. He is the State Democratic Leader in the Iowa Senate and has been a lifelong advocate for public education and smart politics.


We are fortunate to have Mike Gronstal represent us, our students, our schools and our profession. In the current political climate it is vital that you understand that we need YOU. Your time, your talent, and--eventually--your treasure will be needed to make sure that we reverse the trend of legislators who are willing to sell out our children for corporate tax cuts.

Affordable college & training prepares Iowans for good jobs

The availability of highly educated and skilled workers continues to be the number one factor in attracting new business investment and expansion opportunities to Iowa. Here’s an update on measures I’m supporting to make sure more Iowans have the skills needed for good jobs at good wages.

Improved funding for local workforce centers

Iowa’s 63 workforce centers help Iowans find jobs and improve their skills. They also help businesses find new employees when they expand. Unfortunately, the future of many of these local centers has been uncertain for almost a decade.

This year, the Legislature improved the long-term prospects for these local centers by committing more than 5 million additional dollars to help Iowans get the local training they need to fill the jobs available with Iowa employers.

Affordable community college tuition

Iowa’s community colleges are the pathway to a better life for thousands of Iowans. Unfortunately, beginning in the mid-1990s, the Legislature failed to adequately support our community colleges. The resulting tuition increases made the cost of attending Iowa’s community colleges the highest in the nation.

Community college is now much more affordable because of improved state support. In 2008, I supported successful legislation that:

  • Provided $4 million for the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship, which includes a $2,500 grant for first-year community college students;
  • Increased basic funding for Iowa’s community colleges by $10.6 million;
  • Committed $2 million to buildings and computers;
  • Invested $5.5 million in Accelerated Career Education, which offers vocational programs and training to employees of partner businesses; and
  • Approved $4.5 million in job-training programs at our community colleges.
Expanded All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship

The All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship is a needs-based program that helps Iowa students improve their skills and pursue their dreams. During the 2007/2008 school year, 189 students received these scholarships.

This year, the Legislature approved $4 million for the program, which will help 627 Iowa students meet their college expenses with an average award of $5,083. This scholarship can be used to pay for tuition, room, board and books.

The deadline for applying is October 1. For more information, go to the Iowa College Student Aid Commission’s Web site at or call 1-877-272-4456.


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