Democrats point to survey, seek money for schools

Democratic lawmakers say a survey they sent to superintendents shows many expect teacher layoffs and class size increases if the Legislature doesn’t increase state aid by a March 1 deadline.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach and Rep. Sharon Steckman held a news conference Monday to announce results of a survey sent to 348 school districts. They are Democratic leaders in education committees.

They say 206 superintendents responded. Of them, 57 percent say they expected teacher layoffs, 72 percent expected class size increases and 68 percent thought they would postpone ordering school materials if lawmakers didn’t increase state aid to schools by March.

Lawmakers have missed a March 1 deadline for setting allowable revenue growth in the past.

Quirmbach says state aid should be decided before taking up Gov. Terry Branstad’s education reforms.