Turning Iowa schooling into career success

Tod Bowman
Iowa State Senator, 29th Dist.

     Iowa continually has the best high school graduation rate in the country, with more than 90 percent of students graduating on time.

     That’s one of the stats highlighted in the annual Kids Count Report.

     This is good news that we need to build upon by ensuring Iowa students are getting the preparation they need to take on the opportunities that await them. However, the report also tells us Iowa ranks 46th in the number of people ages 25 to 34 that have earned a degree beyond high school.

     We must do better. Iowa businesses say their biggest problem is getting enough qualified workers to fill job openings, and 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce is projected to need education or training beyond high school by 2025.

     Republican budget cuts to higher education have forced increases in tuition, cuts to financial aid and program offerings, larger class sizes and other challenges that make it more difficult for Iowans to further their education and job training after high school.

     Student debt is already among the biggest problems facing our state, according to an Iowa Poll earlier this year. When they finish college, 68 percent of Iowans are in debt.

     It won’t get better any time soon unless we act. In fact, Iowa State University is seeking to raise tuition seven percent each of next five years.

     Affordable college and job training is critical to growing our economy, and we can make it happen when we Put Iowans First.


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