Waukee Schools Superintendent Has Message for Governor, Legislature

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WAUKEE, Iowa -- Waukee Schools Superintendent David Wilkerson has a message for Governor Branstad.

“I would say please stop looking at education as just a cost, and start looking at education as the investment that it is; the investment in the human capital and really the future of our state,” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson says the funding Waukee schools will lose out on would have gone a long way, and as a result programs will have to be cut. Wilkerson holds the legislature equally responsible for the lack of adequate education funding.

“The legislature has not followed the law the last two years in setting school funding and our funding is already supposed to be set for fiscal year 2017. We just now found out our fiscal year 2016 funding, so it would be nice if the people who are responsible for making the laws would also hold themselves to the standard of following the laws,” Wilkerson said,

The consequences of not getting enough funding include having more students in the classroom and on the school bus, and fewer opportunities for students. In Waukee, class sizes are already large.

"They run anywhere at the elementary level from 22 to 29 students per section. At our middle school, it`s not uncommon for us to have 30-31 students in a classroom."

Wilkerson says the message that is being sent is that school districts have more money than they need, and that teachers and administrators are overpaid and not very efficient with funding.

“If teachers are so overpaid than why are we having such a difficult time attracting people to the profession? We just recently had a couple of openings, one in special education and one in a foreign language and we had one applicant for each of those positions," Wilkerson said.

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