To the editor:
Since 2008, Iowans have provided one percent of state sales, services and use taxes to support local school building safety and repair needs through the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) fund. That law will sunset unless the legislature and the governor take action to extend this dependable alternative to property taxes.
School districts are required to address safety concerns, such as replacing aging building wiring to eliminate fire hazards, removing and abating asbestos, monitoring radon and installing secure building and classroom entryways. Just like homes require continuous care and maintenance, school buildings require this same attention. Roofs must be maintained and replaced, lighting upgrades bring increased energy efficiencies and new classroom technologies require changes to electrical infrastructure.
Local schools serve as critical student-learning hubs and community centers. As interested citizens, community members and school officials, we’re proud of our schools and see the need to invest in this valuable resource. We are asking all Iowa legislators and Gov. Branstad to support an extension of the SAVE fund. Help assure that all students have the facilities needed for safe and challenging learning environments and that all communities have adequate funds to meet ongoing school safety, repair and replacement needs.
Signed by 52 Iowa superintendents, including Steve Grey, superintendent of Nevada and Colo-Nesco; Dan Mart, superintendent of North Polk and Ottie Maxey, superintendent of Collins-Maxwell and Ballard; Heartland AEA and two Des Moines Public school board members