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.

Investing in education is key to our future

from the Gronstal Report 2/10/2011

Funding for education and kids should not be a partisan issue, especially when you consider that strong schools are key to Iowa’s economic opportunities—now and down the road.

Our path to a high-wage Iowa future depends on the quality of our local schools. Our children need the skills to take on available jobs, and we must assure new and expanding businesses that Iowa’s commitment to education is second to none.

Governor Branstad and Legislative Republicans have proposed zero new funding for our schools, and the Iowa House has already passed legislation that gives schools no new money.
Investing in education is key to our future


This is basic funding for our schools to operate—money needed to turn the lights on, run the buses and pay salaries. Even in the toughest of times, the Legislature has never failed to provide at least some annual increase for our schools. With Iowa’s economy rebounding, it’s not the time to cut our investment in our children’s future.

What exactly does zero new funding mean for local school districts? We surveyed Iowa’s school superintendents to find out. More than 80 percent of superintendents said that if they receive no increase in funding, they’re considering laying off teachers and other staff, crowding more children into classrooms and raising property taxes. For complete survey results, go to

Budgeting is about setting priorities. My #1 priority is protecting opportunities for Iowa children, not passing super-sized tax breaks for out-of-state corporations. That’s why I support a 2 percent increase in basic state aid to local schools. That’s an investment of an additional $60 million—a wise use of our money when you consider that the state of Iowa will have almost $900 million in reserve and surplus funds at the end of this fiscal year.

According to the Iowa Department of Education, Council Bluffs Schools would get an additional $425,680 and Lewis Central Schools would get an additional $414,719 under the Senate proposal that I support.


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