Democratic lawmakers seek to boost education aid by over $200 million for next school year

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Democratic lawmakers are proposing a significant boost to school aid for the coming academic year.

Leaders in the Democratic-majority Senate said Tuesday they will try to increase funding by over $200 million for the next school year. That's more than double the amount sought by Gov. Terry Branstad and Republican lawmakers who control the state House. Both proposals include dollars already dedicated to a teacher training program.

Democrats say schools need more money to provide good services. Senate President Pam Jochum, from Dubuque, says in a news release that this was a "serious, meaningful step."

Republicans have said the state cannot afford a substantial increase due to other budget commitments. Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said the governor's proposal was fiscally sustainable.

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