DES MOINES (AP) — A House education committee has voted to take a large amount of money from a program designed to reduce class sizes to pay for part of an education reform bill passed this week.
House Democratic leader Kevin McCarthy criticized the move as wrongheaded, saying it takes money away from a priority of Iowans. He said a majority believes students fare better in smaller classes, with more one-on-one teacher attention.
Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen said his party is approaching education reform by looking carefully at programs that are in place and funding ones that make the most sense.
The committee amendment added to a Senate bill takes nearly $20 million from class size grants and uses it to pay for a childhood reading program in the education reform bill.
In other Statehouse news, Gov. Terry Branstad said that on Friday he will go to the school of a girl killed when hit by a pickup last year to sign a new law increasing penalties for failing to heed school bus warning devices. The House on Wednesday passed the bill named Kadyn's law after Kadyn Halverson, 7, who was killed in May in northern Iowa while walking to her bus.
The law increases penalties for failure to slow for a bus with flashing lights or stop when the stop arm is extended. Injuring or killing a child while failing to heed the bus signals also carries more severe penalties.
Branstad said he'll sign the bill at Northwood Elementary school at 11 a.m. at the request of Kadyn's mother, who lobbied lawmakers.
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