New funding in IA for adult learners.

August 09, 2013

Surrounded by students, educators and civic leaders, Governor Terry Brandstad signed legislation which provides $10.5 million in state funding to support adult basic education, career pathways programs,
pathways navigators to provide support services to adult learners enrolled in these programs, and regional industry sector partnerships at Iowa Central Community College. The legislation garnered bi-partisan support as it moved through the state legislature.  

“This is a momentous occasion. For years, Iowa has lagged behind other states in public funding appropriated to raise workers’ skills. We applaud the Governor and state policymakers for taking this bold step forward. With these investments, we can grow our economy with a better trained workforce,” said Elisabeth Buck, Chief Community Impact Officer for United Way of Central Iowa and Chair of the Central Iowa Works Funding Collaborative, the convening organization of the Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition.

Earlier this year, the Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition released its policy agenda, Ensuring All Iowans Have the Skills to Drive Economic Growth and Security, which called for policy recommendations that inspired Senator Herman Quirmbach to file an education appropriations bill that called for $13.5 million to support adult basic education, career pathways programs and navigators, and regional industry sector partnerships. The coalition worked tirelessly during the legislative session to keep the bill alive by holding meetings with legislators, distributing postcards to policymakers and staff to illustrate the importance of such funding, and enlisting the help of business leaders to pen op-eds and testify at legislative hearings. In the end the Iowa State Legislature approved a total of $10.5 million for adult basic education, career pathways programs, pathway navigators, and sector partnerships, just shy of the $13.5 million in skill-related investments that the Senate had proposed.

The coalition looks forwards forward to its continued work with the Governor and state legislature to ensure this funding achieves its desired outcomes and additional policy solutions are crafted where needed.