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Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Robert Jones waits for his name during the starting lineup before the Iowa State vs. West Virginia basketball game at Hilton Coliseum, Feb. 24, 2024.
Big 12 Rankings: Week 9
February 26, 2024

PRO Iowa 24: Children and families first

PRO+Iowa+24%3A+Children+and+families+first
Courtesy of Unsplash

To demonstrate genuine commitment to the well-being of children and families, it is imperative our governor and legislature take decisive action on the following proposals. 

  1. Support for Area Education Agencies (AEAs): AEAs are vital to Iowa’s children and families, providing essential services and the governor’s proposal to outsource these services to a Des Moines-based bureaucrat or private consultant threatens to disrupt a well-functioning system. Families and school staff rely on AEA’s expertise, making the proposed increase in state control counterproductive and bureaucratic. 
  2. Pre and postnatal healthcare: Expand prenatal and postnatal care through Medicaid expansion, countering any reduction in prenatal care proposed by the governor. With Iowa’s alarming 30% increase in infant mortality as of 2022, urgent action is required to enhance state support for prenatal care. 
  3. Mental health services: Increase state funding to attract credentialed mental healthcare providers, ensuring accessibility in both rural and urban areas. 
  4. Support family and children: Childcare is essential for Iowa working families and plays a key role in Iowa’s economy. Enhance state support to expand childcare services, maintaining quality and accessibility, while avoiding any compromise on standards. Address the needs of as many as 69,000 hungry children in Iowa by either greater allocation of resources to existing state programs or a change in the governor’s stance on federal dollars. Invest more in refundable childcare tax credits and earned income tax credits, directing these benefits towards working Iowans who need childcare, rather than providing substantial income tax cuts to the affluent. 
  5. Nursing home support: Improve quality of Iowa’s nursing homes, focusing on recruitment and retention of staff by improving wages for direct care workers and increasing monitoring to ensure the safety of residents. 
  6. Rural and urban public education. Fully fund any state-mandated pay raises with new money. Pay raises are a start, but should not be funded by local property tax increases. Modify the method of allocating funds for public schools to assure it works equally as well for rural districts in which enrollments may be declining as it does for growing suburban and urban districts. 

Enacting these measures would demonstrate our governor and legislature prioritize families and children. By redirecting surplus funds or dollars currently designated for tax reductions benefiting the wealthy, Iowa has the opportunity to enhance the well-being of all its residents. Urge your legislators to put children and families first. 

Barb Wheelock and Ralph Rosenberg, on behalf of PRO Iowa 24 – a group of concerned rural Iowans with progressive values from Greene, Guthrie, Boone, Story, and Dallas counties.

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