Iowa law guarantees that every child in the state receives an “equal” amount of money to fund his/her education. A district’s budget is basically derived from the number of children enrolled in the district multiplied by the district’s cost per child. However, economic factors change from year-to-year, and it is up to state lawmakers to decide just how much to increase the cost per child to reflect the change. This increase is called “allowable growth.”

Under the basic finance formula, each district’s spending is based upon a district cost per pupil.  The total amount the district is allowed to spend is that per pupil amount times the number of students enrolled. A district can spend less than the maximum, but cannot spend more.

An allowable growth rate is recommended by the Governor and established by the Legislature. The rate is multiplied by the state cost per pupil to calculate an allowable growth rate per pupil. All districts receive the same amount per pupil. Allowable growth per pupil is intended to further provide equity in school districts throughout the state because the legislature set a principle that each child is worth the same amount, no matter where he/she lives.

In the next article I will discuss on how property taxes determine how much each district receives in state aid.

I survived my first IKM-Manning Homecoming Week with very little stress. I personally want to thank those that came out to the pep assembly and showed their support for our students. It is great to see this kind of enthusiasm from our parents and the rest of the community. This is one of many reasons that make our district a great place to live and educate our youth.

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