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.

from the Desk of Senator Gronstal on Education and Economic Development

Dear Friends,

I regularly visit with local business leaders and economic development specialists. Time and again, I’m told that great schools and training opportunities are the best way for Iowa to compete for good jobs at good wages.

That’s why I want to protect Iowa education at all levels from unnecessary, short-sighted cuts—from early childhood to college to job re-training. I stand behind the Senate’s Education Budget, which maintains high standards while keeping education and training affordable and accessible.


Locally, Iowa School for the Deaf was not spared from the Republican chopping block. In the Senate, I support an additional $520,000 over what the Republican House appropriated so that the school can continue to meet needs and demands for their services.

To ensure a college education remains within reach, I’m saying “no” to a $40 million cut that House Republicans made to our state universities. Iowa students already graduate deeper in debt than students in most other states. We can’t allow them to be priced out of higher education altogether.
I also don’t want to see House Republican-approved cuts to our community colleges. Iowans of all ages are improving their skills and their futures at local community colleges, causing enrollment to skyrocket. I want to provide an additional $10 million so that community colleges can meet student demand without steep tuition increases.
In addition, I want to provide $10 million for worker training at our community colleges. These dollars will help match underemployed and unemployed workers with jobs in high-demand fields and provide financial aid to help them earn industry-recognized certificates in these areas.
Helping kids get the best start in school pays off in many ways for the rest of their lives. That’s why I’m saying “no” to Republican efforts to eliminate Iowa’s voluntary preschool initiative and to further cut child development and early education tuition assistance by 60 percent. I believe the House was also mistaken when it approved drastic cuts to child development services for at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds.
The broad attack on quality public education includes a call for two years with no increase in state support for local schools. I’ve voted instead for an affordable 2 percent increase (Senate File 533). House Republican plans to cut $20 million from our Area Education Agencies would further undermine our schools and threaten federally mandated special education services.

With state revenues improving, our reserve funds full at $600 million, and another $300 million to be added by the end of the fiscal year, there’s no need to turn our backs on Iowa’s history of great educational opportunity.


Post a Comment