[ {"id":"d934d5b4-cbfd-570e-ad50-85da5c5c9518","type":"article","starttime":"1485229500","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T21:45:00-06:00","sections":[{"education":"news/local/education"}],"application":"editorial","title":"$18M in Davenport school cuts proposed over 3 years","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/education/article_d934d5b4-cbfd-570e-ad50-85da5c5c9518.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/education/m-in-davenport-school-cuts-proposed-over-years/article_d934d5b4-cbfd-570e-ad50-85da5c5c9518.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/education/m-in-davenport-school-cuts-proposed-over-years/article_d934d5b4-cbfd-570e-ad50-85da5c5c9518.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Deirdre Cox Baker\ndbaker@qctimes.com","prologue":"Some of the programs that make Davenport officials most proud of the Community School District are now on the chopping block, the school board learned Monday night. There are $18 million in cuts proposed over the next three years, according to figures introduced during the board's regular session. Proposed changes for 2017-18 include class size increases \u2014 adding two students to each high school class, in order to reduce the teaching staff by eight teachers, to save $600,000.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["folk music","ryan wise","art tate","iowa board of educational examiners","jamie snyder","creative arts academy","marsha tangen","iowa department of education","school","education","cut","complaint","reserve fund","board member","teacher"],"internalKeywords":["#breaking","#facebook","#twitter"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"77821dc4-6ce3-5e6e-ac6e-f8e6d0f8f6c2","description":"Art Tate","byline":"","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1992,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/77821dc4-6ce3-5e6e-ac6e-f8e6d0f8f6c2/52166ffe3150b.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"411","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/77821dc4-6ce3-5e6e-ac6e-f8e6d0f8f6c2/5840c017c330e.image.jpg?resize=620%2C411"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/77821dc4-6ce3-5e6e-ac6e-f8e6d0f8f6c2/52166ffe81acc.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/77821dc4-6ce3-5e6e-ac6e-f8e6d0f8f6c2/52166ffe82ee4.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"678","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/78/77821dc4-6ce3-5e6e-ac6e-f8e6d0f8f6c2/52166ffe5ea6c.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"d934d5b4-cbfd-570e-ad50-85da5c5c9518","body":"

Some of the programs that make Davenport officials most proud of the Community School District are now on the chopping block, the school board learned Monday night.

There are $18 million in cuts proposed over the next three years, according to figures introduced during the board's regular session. Proposed changes for 2017-18 include class size increases \u2014 adding two students to each high school class, in order to reduce the teaching staff by eight teachers, to save $600,000.

Key reductions for 2018-19: Reducing funding to the Creative Arts Academy by $350,000 and increase elementary school classroom sizes by one student each, letting go of seven teachers, for $525,000. Cuts that year include diversion teachers, interventionists and programs that Davenport started to make itself a \"District of Distinction.\"

Enrollment is the heart of the district's funding problem, Superintendent Art Tate told board members. The district has lost students for 26 years: Currently it has 14,490 students.

Most of the district's general operating budget comes from a per-pupil allocation from the state; falling enrollment has meant $22 million in reductions since 2010, Tate said.

According to the district's chief financial officer, Marsha Tangen, the board will be formally presented the district's budget March 27. It will be voted on at the April 10 board meeting.

But the plan offered Monday greatly bothers school board members.

Board member Jamie Snyder asked about teacher and administration cuts, and learned that there's a 7 percent reduction in the administrative staff (including an associate principal and a director of the Human Resources and Equity Department in 2017-18, and to eliminate an associate principal, associate superintendent and athletic director in 2018-19.)

Closing a school \u2014\u00a0which one was not named \u2014\u00a0is listed for 2019-20 at an estimated savings of $1 million.

In each of the three years, Tate continues his decision to use $175 from the reserve funds for each Davenport student. This adds up to $2.7 million in 2017-18, $2.68 million in 2018-19, and $2.65 million in 2019-20.

That decision to use reserve funds has caused the Iowa Department of Education and its director, Ryan Wise to file an ethics complaint against Tate. The complaint is lodged with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, currently considering the matter.

Tate said he would send a letter on the proposed district cuts to residents Tuesday, and the information will be posted on the website.

"}, {"id":"1e7f794a-3568-575a-b69b-7f1645262cc8","type":"article","starttime":"1485228600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T21:30:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1485230464","sections":[{"education":"news/local/education"}],"application":"editorial","title":"East Moline teachers union set to strike for more pay","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/education/article_1e7f794a-3568-575a-b69b-7f1645262cc8.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/education/east-moline-teachers-union-set-to-strike-for-more-pay/article_1e7f794a-3568-575a-b69b-7f1645262cc8.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/education/east-moline-teachers-union-set-to-strike-for-more-pay/article_1e7f794a-3568-575a-b69b-7f1645262cc8.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jack Cullen\njcullen@qctimes.com","prologue":"The majority of the East Moline teachers union, District 37, made it loud and clear Monday it wants \u2014 and expects \u2014 a raise in pay. At the end of an after-school meeting that lasted almost two hours, more than two-thirds of the East Moline Education Association, which has 279 members, voted to organize a strike, union spokesman Rich Palmer said.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["illinois","rich palmer","moline","east moline school district","east moline education association","glenview middle school","illinois state board of education","quad-city times","kristin humphries","teacher","unions","education","union","palmer","work","wage","raise"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"0b35bcf2-8314-5a37-ad9b-c4c80d74f341","description":"Members of the East Moline Education Association on Monday exit the\u00a0United Auto Workers Local 865 hall after voting to organize a strike later this year over the failure to reach an agreement on wage increases with East Moline School District 37.\u00a0","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1664,"hiresheight":1244,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b3/0b35bcf2-8314-5a37-ad9b-c4c80d74f341/5886c89c37c20.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1664","height":"1244","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b3/0b35bcf2-8314-5a37-ad9b-c4c80d74f341/5886c89c36ebf.image.jpg?resize=1664%2C1244"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b3/0b35bcf2-8314-5a37-ad9b-c4c80d74f341/5886c89c36ebf.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"224","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b3/0b35bcf2-8314-5a37-ad9b-c4c80d74f341/5886c89c36ebf.image.jpg?resize=300%2C224"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"766","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b3/0b35bcf2-8314-5a37-ad9b-c4c80d74f341/5886c89c36ebf.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C766"}}},{"id":"ac1b6e1e-22f4-5f91-93c9-75a609486f8e","description":"Rich Palmer, spokesman for the East Moline Education Association, addresses members of the media Monday night following the teacher union's vote to go on strike this year for more pay.\u00a0","byline":"Jack Cullen, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1753,"hiresheight":1182,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/c1/ac1b6e1e-22f4-5f91-93c9-75a609486f8e/5886c89b7d9d9.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1753","height":"1182","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/c1/ac1b6e1e-22f4-5f91-93c9-75a609486f8e/5886c89b7cb16.image.jpg?resize=1753%2C1182"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/c1/ac1b6e1e-22f4-5f91-93c9-75a609486f8e/5886c89b7cb16.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"202","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/c1/ac1b6e1e-22f4-5f91-93c9-75a609486f8e/5886c89b7cb16.image.jpg?resize=300%2C202"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"690","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/c1/ac1b6e1e-22f4-5f91-93c9-75a609486f8e/5886c89b7cb16.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C690"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"1e7f794a-3568-575a-b69b-7f1645262cc8","body":"

The majority of the East Moline teachers union, District 37, made it loud and clear Monday it wants \u2014 and expects \u2014 a raise in pay.

At the end of an after-school meeting that lasted almost two hours, more than two-thirds of the East Moline Education Association, which has 279 members, voted to organize a strike, union spokesman Rich Palmer said.

\"It felt like we were pushed into a corner, and this was our only response,\" Palmer told members of the media after the meeting at the United Auto Workers Local 865 hall. \"Clearly, our actions prior to this were not taken seriously.\"

Shortly after the private, standing-room only meeting began, members of the union asked a Quad-City Times reporter to leave the building and ordered him to delete photos taken inside the building off his phone.

The teachers union, Palmer said, will file its intent to strike with the Illinois State Board of Education as soon as possible. Following a 10-day waiting period, the union must then vote to approve the action and set a strike date.\u00a0

In Iowa, the law prohibits public employee unions, including teacher unions, from striking.

In the meantime, the East Moline Education Association, which recently reported its members have not seen any base salary increases since 2009, hopes the district will budge.

\"Our hope is still that the district will come back to the bargaining table and provide an equal and fair contract for our members,\" said Palmer, who noted contract talks began nine months ago. \"We're still hoping to avoid this.\"

Their last bargaining session \"broke down\" Friday evening, according to a news release issued by the teachers union.

Kristin Humphries, superintendent of the East Moline School District 37, said negotiating members representing the teachers union \u201cwalked out\u201d of bargaining Friday night.

\u201cThey need to get back to the table,\u201d said Humphries, who called the union\u2019s decision to go on strike \u201cextremely unfortunate\u201d and \u201ctroubling.\u201d

\u201cThe board was prepared to stay there all night,\u201d he added. \u201cOur community needs to know that we\u2019re going to get this done because the education of our students is far too important.\u201d

Specifically, the East Moline Education Association has proposed a set of salary increases for its licensed teachers, para-educators and secretaries through the 2017-18 school year:

\u2022 This school year, the union proposed a 1.75 percent raise for teachers who have worked in the district for fewer than 20 years, including base rate, step increases and lane advancements; a 2.5 percent raise for those who have worked in the district for at least 20 years and are at the top step; and two $.75 hourly wage raises for para-educators and secretaries \u2014 on the base rate and steps \u2014 the next two years, along with the same increase for those at top step.

\u2022 Next school year, the union also submitted a proposal asking for the same raise for teachers who have worked in the district for fewer than 20 years, and a 3 percent raise for the 20-year-plus teachers.\u00a0

Humphries said the district's offer totaled $190,000 less than what the East Moline Education Association proposed.\u00a0

During Monday's meeting, several cheers and large rounds of applause could be heard from outside the building.

\"There was a lot of unity, and we were excited to hear and see that as a group,\" Palmer later said. \"I haven't felt the unity in this district more in the last 17 years than I've felt in the last several months.\"

Following the meeting, other members of the East Moline Education Association declined comment as they exited the union hall.

Palmer, a 17-year history teacher who works at Glenview Middle School, said 62 percent of staff in the district, including him, holds a master's degree.\u00a0

\"The district has been putting money into stuff rather than staff,\" Palmer said. \"It makes it difficult for us to recruit and keep good teachers.\"

"}, {"id":"02f8af99-f387-5c42-b975-ae98044e8603","type":"article","starttime":"1485226800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T21:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1485227044","sections":[{"muscatine":"news/local/muscatine"}],"application":"editorial","title":"\"Slow equals fair,\" Muscatine City Attorney says","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/article_02f8af99-f387-5c42-b975-ae98044e8603.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/slow-equals-fair-muscatine-city-attorney-says/article_02f8af99-f387-5c42-b975-ae98044e8603.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/slow-equals-fair-muscatine-city-attorney-says/article_02f8af99-f387-5c42-b975-ae98044e8603.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Emily Wenger\nemily.wenger@muscatinejournal.com","prologue":"MUSCATINE, Iowa \u2014 Muscatine City Attorney Matthew Brick says charges for removal of Mayor Diana Broderson may not be filed for weeks, and the nature of the charges has yet to be determined. Brick said he will continue to investigate, and \"slow equals fair.\" \"I want to make sure if there are relevant issues that they get looked at,\" he said.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":["matthew brick","politics","law","michael rehwaldt","misconduct","elected official","council","diana broderson","muscatine city council"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":3,"commentID":"02f8af99-f387-5c42-b975-ae98044e8603","body":"

MUSCATINE, Iowa \u2014 Muscatine City Attorney Matthew Brick says charges for removal of Mayor Diana Broderson may not be filed for weeks, and the nature of the charges has yet to be determined.

Brick said he will continue to investigate, and \"slow equals fair.\"

\"I want to make sure if there are relevant issues that they get looked at,\" he said.

The Muscatine City Council two weeks ago voted to take the first steps toward ousting the mayor. Councilman Michael Rehwaldt cited \"habitual neglect\" and \"willful misconduct or maladministration in office\" as two possible reasons.

State law says elected officials can be removed by two-thirds vote of the council.

\"It would be nice for not only me but for the people of Muscatine to know sooner rather than later so both sides could work to prepare,\" Broderson said.

If evidence for removing the mayor under state law is not found, Brick said at the end of the investigation he would report back to council.

\"I wouldn\u2019t file a document that didn\u2019t have grounds for removal,\" he said.

Brick said he has not found many cases where removal charges are being handled by the city council, rather than in court, which the law also allows. Cases handled in court, he said, are also difficult to find.

\u00a0\"Fortunately it's not something that has happened a lot in Iowa,\" he said.

The code does not provide much specific guidance for this situation, Brick said, but he said he will do what he can to make sure the procedure follows due process and both sides have an opportunity to present their arguments.

\"It's sort of a brave new world,\" he said.

Brick said over the past year, inaccurate information has been given to the public about the city, city staff and elected officials, so the city does not want something he is investigating to be released that is discovered later to be inaccurate or that is not grounds for removal.

\"So if there's something that they want me to look into or a charge that I'm following up that isn't accurate or isn't grounds for removal, they don\u2019t want that thing to get out into the community and hurt the reputation of an elected official or city staff that ultimately is not relevant anyway,\" he said.

If charges are filed, the council will decide whether or not to move forward with a hearing, and according to city code must set a date for the hearing at least 10 days after the notice of the hearing is given to the mayor.

According to Brick, a separate attorney will present the charges at the hearing while he advises the council, and both sides will present arguments before they give a final opinion and the council makes its decision.

Both residents and officials have asked to see what Broderson is being accused of, and Brick said he understands the frustration.

\"I am moving faster than I thought possible to try to get things done,\" he said.

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With all the buzz and excitement of Sterilite Corp.'s impending move to Davenport, concerns have come forward from local residents who wish to understand the direct impacts of the development.

Sterilite, North America's leader in plastic housewares, intends to build a $73 million, 2.4 million square-foot facility by the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center, which is currently witnessing the construction of the Kraft-Heinz plant.

With all the current and prospective development projects nearby, Alderwoman Kerri Tompkins, 8th Ward, invited residents to hear about the projects and voice concerns Monday night at the city's Eastern Avenue Library branch.

While the city has been proactive in explaining that the economic incentives provided to Sterilite come in the form of rebates after the company has paid its property taxes, Community Planning and Economic Development Director Bruce Berger said there are some risks with the deal.

The city is paying upfront for infrastructure improvements, including rail spurs on the property, which is atypical of the city's other tax increment financing agreements.

\"There are some bad examples of cities that fronted the money and wrote a check to businesses and developers and then that business or developer didn't even do that project,\" Berger said.

But in discussion with the City Council, Berger said moving forward with the project made sense not only because the road improvements were needed, but also for the creation of the 500 jobs the plant is expected to generate.

\"In this case, the road is going to benefit us because we want to see this intersection improved,\" Berger said. \"We want to see that intersection improved because it will help that development over there.\"

After cautioning the City Council last week about moving too quickly after it agreed to fast-track the deal, resident Jeff Milne had the opportunity to ask Berger about environmental and infrastructure impacts.

While Berger said an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was not required for the project nor was it completed by the city, he said the city looked at impacts at other Sterilite facilities.

\"From an environmental standpoint, it's a very clean industry,\" Berger said.

As to the traffic concerns, Berger said road improvements were part of the incentive package offered to Sterilite with concerns in place at the intersections of Slopertown Road and Division Street, Northwest Boulevard and Hillandale Road and Slopertown Road and Hillandale Road.

Berger said the city is applying to the state for financial assistance, which likely will take place next month.

Although there are concerns from residents over the expected increase of car and truck traffic, Berger said Sterilite's business model controls the number of trucks needed.

Berger said the construction of rail lines would allow the company to store rail cars on the property and there also would be space for trucks to come to facility and drop off trailers, which would be filled by Sterilite employees.

\"As a result, Sterilite doesn't have a lot of truck drivers and trucks that sit around,\" Berger said. \"They have retailers come to them to get their product so it was important for them to locate in the Midwest along I-80 so that they could serve retailers in this region.\"

While separate from the Sterilite deal, Berger said the expansion of West 76th Street will help alleviate any stress from truck traffic because it would provide an easier route to reach I-80.

The road expansion is expected to be completed in the summer, which is well before the April 1, 2018 target date for the plant's opening.

\u00a0

"}, {"id":"66a53f17-6fbc-5767-97e4-327f36c79492","type":"article","starttime":"1485224100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T20:15:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1485227044","sections":[{"muscatine":"news/local/muscatine"}],"application":"editorial","title":"L-M School District to offer Professional Learning Communities staff training","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/article_66a53f17-6fbc-5767-97e4-327f36c79492.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/l-m-school-district-to-offer-professional-learning-communities-staff/article_66a53f17-6fbc-5767-97e4-327f36c79492.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/l-m-school-district-to-offer-professional-learning-communities-staff/article_66a53f17-6fbc-5767-97e4-327f36c79492.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Liora Engel-Smith\nLiora.engel-smith@muscatinejournal.com","prologue":"LETTS, Iowa\u00a0\u2014 Louisa-Muscatine district staff will learn about Professional Learning Communities in a 3-day conference next August. The L-M Board of Education approved a $31,920 contract which will cover the cost of training the district staff. Superintendent Mike Van Sickle said the Columbus Junction School District staff may join the Louisa-Muscatine District for the training, but that Columbus Junction will cover the cost of training its own teachers.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":["school","mike van sickle","education","economics","board","work","training","staff","teacher","dough mcbride","pam lee"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":3,"commentID":"66a53f17-6fbc-5767-97e4-327f36c79492","body":"

LETTS, Iowa\u00a0\u2014 Louisa-Muscatine district staff will learn about Professional Learning Communities in a 3-day conference next August.

The L-M Board of Education approved a $31,920 contract which will cover the cost of training the district staff. Superintendent Mike Van Sickle said the Columbus Junction School District staff may join the Louisa-Muscatine District for the training, but that Columbus Junction will cover the cost of training its own teachers.

The training, which will be offered from Aug. 16 to Aug. 18 at Calvary Church, will delve into practical and theoretical aspects of creating Professional Learning Communities\u2014groups of teachers who work together to problem-solve and track student achievement throughout the year. Professional Learning Communities are part of a new approach that the L-M district implemented this year, which involves tracking student achievement and offering different levels of support depending on need.

Vice President Pam Lee said that in the past, the district sent some of its teachers to conferences across the country. But the in-house conference, she said, will offer some consistency in training.

\u201cEven though it\u2019s the same company, there might be different presenters and this way everybody is going to hear the message exactly presented the same way,\u201d she said.

Superintendent Mike Van Sickle said the move will save the district money.

\u201cWe want everybody trained anyway,\u201d he said. \u201cAnd it\u2019s $399 a head for this training, but if we were to send them somewhere, it would be $699 a head and you\u2019d be paying for hotels and travel and meals.\u201d

\u201cThe money availability there, [but] it squeezes us tight within the PD [professional development] budget,\u201d Van Sickle said.

Most of the money for the training will come from the general fund, with some money coming from the school\u2019s TLC grant. Board Secretary Charles Domer said the district has the money to cover the training.

In other business, Elementary School Principal Dough McBride will retire at the end of the year. McBride has been with the district for 10 years. To fill the position, the board discussed the option of hiring a consulting firm for the search. But Lee introduced a motion to use in-house staff with helps from the AEA to search for the principal.

Lee said involving teachers will help create staff buy-in for the new hire.

\u201cThere is a lot of [staff] participation in either system,\u201d van sickle said. \u201cThe positives of going with the firm\u2014they know more people than I do.\u201d

But he acknowledged that this kind of knowledge may not be necessary. The board decided to use an in-house search committee first, and revisit the consulting firm idea at a later time.

The board approved the purchase of a new 84-seat handicap-accessible bus, to replace an old bus that has over 200,000 miles on it. The new bus will cost $103,940 and will be delivered in August. Van Sickle said the purchase of the bus was part of the district\u2019s 5-year plan, and the money for the purchase was already allocated.

The board also approved the hiring of a full-time agriculture teacher for the district. Currently, the Louisa-Muscatine district shares an agriculture teacher with the Muscatine Community School District, with each district paying half of the teacher\u2019s salary.

\u201cWe had a half-time Ag position and now it\u2019s going to full-time cause it\u2019s busting at the seams, and that\u2019s good, that\u2019s just indicating that the program is being very successful,\u201d Van Sickle said.

Van Sickle said the move would allow the district to offer agriculture classes once a year rather than once every two years.

The board unanimously approved the academic calendar for next year. In response to parent feedback, Van Sickle said, the district will end the first semester of the next school year on December 22, instead of after the holidays.

But the change will create a shorter first semester, and Van Sickle said state law does not allow the academic year to begin before Aug. 23.

\u201cIt\u2019s not ideal, but it\u2019s workable,\u201d Van Sickle said, adding that teachers can schedule special activities and class outings for the longer second semester.

"}, {"id":"3e8b5ea6-f761-5436-8c02-fbc2870c9bf3","type":"article","starttime":"1485223200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T20:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1485226694","sections":[{"muscatine":"news/local/muscatine"}],"application":"editorial","title":"GOP legislators modify $117.8 million in state budget cuts","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/article_3e8b5ea6-f761-5436-8c02-fbc2870c9bf3.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/gop-legislators-modify-million-in-state-budget-cuts/article_3e8b5ea6-f761-5436-8c02-fbc2870c9bf3.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/gop-legislators-modify-million-in-state-budget-cuts/article_3e8b5ea6-f761-5436-8c02-fbc2870c9bf3.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Rod Boshart\nDes Moines Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2013 Legislative Republicans agreed Monday to make $117.8 million in adjustments to the state general fund budget by June 30 that shaved reductions proposed by Gov. Terry Branstad for higher education, corrections, public safety and the courts but still prescribed smaller cuts in those areas.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":["republicans","institutes","parliament","legislator","joe bolkcom","politics","charles schneider","republican","government","terry branstad"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":2,"commentID":"3e8b5ea6-f761-5436-8c02-fbc2870c9bf3","body":"

DES MOINES \u2013 Legislative Republicans agreed Monday to make $117.8 million in adjustments to the state general fund budget by June 30 that shaved reductions proposed by Gov. Terry Branstad for higher education, corrections, public safety and the courts but still prescribed smaller cuts in those areas.

Under the tentative agreement, regent universities would be cut by $18 million rather than the $25.56 million the governor sought, while community college funding would be shaved by $3 million rather than $8.7 million; corrections would be cut $5.5 million, not $15 million; the court system would be reduced by $3 million, not $7.7 million; and public safety\u2019s $3.8 million cut would be lowered to $1 million.

Sen. Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the changes made to the governor\u2019s original $110 million starting point for erasing the current fiscal year budget\u2019s projected shortfall reflect the priorities expressed by GOP legislators in the House and Senate.

\u201cIt was not a fun puzzle to have to put together, but ultimately you\u2019ve got to make it work and that\u2019s what we\u2019re here for,\u201d Schneider said after the de-appropriations bill cleared subcommittee. \u201cThey are tough decisions. You could hear in the room today people aren\u2019t happy. But it is what it is. We can only work with what we\u2019re given. We can\u2019t spend more than we have. That\u2019s just the reality. That\u2019s not politics, that\u2019s math.\u201d

Overall, the plan moving forward by majority Republicans would make $88.2 million in targeted cuts, return $4.5 million in unused property tax credits, transfer $25 million from economic development, cultural and other trust funds, and provide a $4.3 million supplemental appropriation for indigent defense spending. The changes would not affect current year funding for K-12 schools, the Medicaid safety net and property tax credits and \u201cbackfill\u201d to local governments and communities.

Schneider said House and Senate Republicans had agreed not to partially couple the state tax code with federal changes as Branstad proposed that would carry a $29 million price tag for the 2016 tax year, but to hold harmless the $8.2 million in the taxpayer trust fund the governor would have used to balance the current year budget.

Subcommittee member Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said minority Democrats disagreed with the proposed GOP cuts in a number of areas, but Republicans noted the problem was a carry-over from budget decisions made last session based on projected revenue growth that did not materialize.

\u201cWe\u2019re not dealing with a situation where revenues are decreasing now. We\u2019re dealing with a situation where growth is slower than we anticipated it. There was no room for error,\u201d Schneider said.

Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, said the problem relates to decisions over the past three or four years to spend down more than $750 million in state surplus funds which GOP senators opposed. \u201cIt\u2019s ironic that we vote no on something for three or four years when we\u2019re not in the majority and then all of a sudden we\u2019re to blame when it does happens.\u201d

Along with targeted cuts, GOP legislators are directing state agencies to identify $11.5 million in departmental reductions by trimming out-of-state travel, purchases and leaving unfilled positions vacant for the next five months. The specific cuts to regent universities would trim funding by $8 million each at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, and $2 million at the University of Northern Iowa.

\u201cWe\u2019re concerned about the cuts to higher education. We\u2019re especially concerned about significant increases in tuition for our community college students and our university students and their families as a result of these underfunding of these institutions,\u201d Bolkcom said.

\u201cWe think that this is going to have a super detrimental effect on those students, and while we might not look at a tuition increase this spring I suspect that we\u2019re going to see one soon and one that\u2019s going to have to take effect for more than one year,\u201d he added.

Bolkcom suggested an alternative approach might be to slash state tax credits to corporations that have growth expeditiously in recent years.

After the subcommittee meeting, Bolkcom issued a statement warning the proposed GOP cuts threaten public safety, education and human services.

\u201cThe deep, mid-year budget cuts endorsed today by Republican legislators are mean-spirited and will harm Iowa college students, working families and seniors,\u201d Bolkcom said in his statement. \u201cThe last thing we should do is cut services that Iowans depend on, including higher education, job training, public safety and human services.\u201d

Schneider said he expected the provisions of Senate Study Bill 1018 would clear committee on Tuesday and he expected both the House and Senate would send the measure to the governor possibly yet this week.

During his weekly news conference Monday, Branstad did not address the specifics of the negotiations on the fiscal 2017 de-appropriations bill be expressed hope a final agreement would be approved and indicated \u201cwe appreciate the cooperation that we\u2019re receiving from the Legislature.\u201d

Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

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Davenport police subdued an agitated man with a knife around 6:30 Monday near the corner of East High Street and College Avenue near Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme Street, Davenport.

Police confronted the man, whose identity was not known, in the street adjacent to the hospital parking ramp.

The man was shouting and had a knife with a blade 8-10 inches long, according to Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski. Eventually the man was restrained with a combination of \u201cless lethal\u201d force that included a stun gun, pepper spray and rubber bullets. Sikorski said the man was injured from the force but his injuries were not life-threatening.

The incident lasted about half an hour.

Police arrived at the scene after they received a 911 call. Two officers were nearby and were joined by other emergency responders.

The man was transported to Scott County Jail after he refused medical treatment.

No other details were available late Monday.

"}, {"id":"7dc652e7-eaf5-5db6-b04a-f802cf3db262","type":"article","starttime":"1485218100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T18:35:00-06:00","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Iowa Capitol Digest: Groups plan rally Tuesday at Capitol","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_7dc652e7-eaf5-5db6-b04a-f802cf3db262.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/iowa-capitol-digest-groups-plan-rally-tuesday-at-capitol/article_7dc652e7-eaf5-5db6-b04a-f802cf3db262.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/iowa-capitol-digest-groups-plan-rally-tuesday-at-capitol/article_7dc652e7-eaf5-5db6-b04a-f802cf3db262.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items for Monday: DAY OF ACTION: Hundreds of Iowans are expected to be at the Capitol Tuesday for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund day of action in conjunction with Our Revolution, the successor to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders\u2019 unsuccessful presidential campaign.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["iowa","iowa state capitol","des moines\u2019 central campus","glenwood resource center","iowa senate","terry branstad","workplace drug-testing law","donald trump","michael breitbach","tony bisignano","bernie sanders","diego garcia orellana","republican party","community improvement action fund","kim reynolds","department of human services","work","senate","parliament","institutes","labor","politics","reform","rally","minimum wage","business relations committee"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"d3df0b31-b379-5503-8b8a-d96d9b050284","description":"","byline":"FILE PHOTO","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3d/d3df0b31-b379-5503-8b8a-d96d9b050284/572d2f8b139bb.image.jpg?resize=300%2C204"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3d/d3df0b31-b379-5503-8b8a-d96d9b050284/54f7a3c83daa8.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3d/d3df0b31-b379-5503-8b8a-d96d9b050284/54f7a3c83e2ce.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"696","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3d/d3df0b31-b379-5503-8b8a-d96d9b050284/54f7a3c84146a.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"7dc652e7-eaf5-5db6-b04a-f802cf3db262","body":"

A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items for Monday:

DAY OF ACTION: Hundreds of Iowans are expected to be at the Capitol Tuesday for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund day of action in conjunction with Our Revolution, the successor to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders\u2019 unsuccessful presidential campaign.

At a 10 a.m. rally, Iowa CCI Action and Our Revolution members will address clean water, raising the statewide minimum wage, wage theft, racial justice and campaign finance reform. They also plan to lobby on proposals to change voter ID laws, pre-empt local minimum wages and so-called \u201cstand your ground\u201d legislation.

For more information, visit cciaction.org.

LT. GOV. CONFIRMATION: Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are cool to a state senator\u2019s idea of requiring any future appointment to the office of lieutenant governor be subject to a simple majority vote of the Iowa Senate.

Sen. Tony Bisignano, D-Des Moines, introduced Senate File 50 as a transfer of power may be forthcoming at the Statehouse if Branstad is confirmed to be President Donald Trump\u2019s ambassador to China and he resigns the governorship. Reynolds would become governor and would appoint her lieutenant under Iowa law. Bisignano favors confirmation because any appointed lieutenant governor could become governor with no input from voters or Iowans.

\u201cThat\u2019s never been the process before,\u201d Reynolds told reporters Monday. \u201cThe process is in place. There\u2019s no precedent for doing anything different.\u201d

Branstad agreed, saying the current system is \u201cgood and fair\u201d and has worked well in the past when a governor has been called upon to appoint someone to fill a vacant elective statewide office.

WORKPLACE DRUG TESTING: The GOP-led Senate Labor and Business Relations Committee voted 7-4 Monday to expand Iowa\u2019s workplace drug-testing law include hair samples. Iowa law already lets companies demand blood, urine, saliva or breath samples from workers for random drug tests.

\u201cForty-seven states currently allow the testing of hair for drugs,\u201d said Sen. Michael Breitbach, R-Strawberry Point, said. \u201cIt\u2019s another tool in the employer\u2019s tool box to make sure that they provide a safe and viable workplace.\u201d

Four Democrats on the committee opposed Senate File 32, arguing hair retains evidence of drug use for months, even years. The bill now goes to the Iowa Senate debate calendar for further consideration.

GLENWOOD INVESTIGATION: Gov. Terry Branstad told reporters at his weekly news conference that he won\u2019t \u201csecond guess\u201d decisions made by the state Department of Human Services in handling recent problems at a facility at Glenwood.

The governor called it \u201cconcerning\u201d that investigators recently determined some staff at the state-run Glenwood facility where patients with profound mental disabilities live were physically and verbally abusing the patients. Asked how the culture of abuse was allowed, Branstad replied: \u201cThat\u2019s a good question, and that\u2019s the reason why significant changes have been already made.\u201d

Six employees at the Glenwood facility were fired, six quit and five others have been disciplined, but no supervisors were disciplined. The governor said DHS officials have taken the action they think is appropriate

\u201cIf there\u2019s additional action that should be taken, I\u2019m certain they\u2019ll do what needs to be done, but I\u2019m not one to second-guess,\u201d Branstad said. The governor said a majority of employees at the Glenwood Resource Center are \u201chard-working, conscientious people\u201d who do a good job.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: \u201cThey told me to keep a secret until now.\u201d \u2014\u00a0Diego Garcia Orellana, a student at Des Moines\u2019 Central Campus school, in response to reporters\u2019 questions about what he has been telling his friends about a new state website with career and job information that was unveiled Monday at a news conference in which he was a participant.

\u2014 Times Bureau

"}, {"id":"eacdd475-9480-55e8-8c2c-05464e075f00","type":"article","starttime":"1485217800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T18:30:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1485226693","sections":[{"muscatine":"news/local/muscatine"}],"application":"editorial","title":"City crews working to take advantage of weather to fill potholes","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/article_eacdd475-9480-55e8-8c2c-05464e075f00.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/city-crews-working-to-take-advantage-of-weather-to-fill/article_eacdd475-9480-55e8-8c2c-05464e075f00.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/muscatine/city-crews-working-to-take-advantage-of-weather-to-fill/article_eacdd475-9480-55e8-8c2c-05464e075f00.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Emily Wenger\nemily.wenger@muscatinejournal.com","prologue":"MUSCATINE, Iowa \u2014 City road crews were out in full force Monday to fill potholes around Muscatine. Street Maintenance Supervisor Randy Howell said they used cold patch to fill the holes, which can be used in colder weather. \"It\u2019s real real sticky and tends to work better when the pavement is cold and dirty,\" Howell said.","supportsComments":false,"keywords":["randy howell","highway","meteorology","street","muscatine","patch","weather","rout","pothole"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"72dcef9f-98fb-58e8-a836-991a5b4cf39f","description":"Mishelle Honts fills potholes on Houser Street hill between Hershey Avenue and Logan Street Monday afternoon in Muscatine.","byline":"BETH VAN ZANDT/MUSCATINE JOURNAL","hireswidth":1482,"hiresheight":2605,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2d/72dcef9f-98fb-58e8-a836-991a5b4cf39f/5886be4d7dd7b.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1086","height":"1908","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2d/72dcef9f-98fb-58e8-a836-991a5b4cf39f/5886be4ce880e.image.jpg?resize=1086%2C1908"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"176","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2d/72dcef9f-98fb-58e8-a836-991a5b4cf39f/5886be4ce880e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C176"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"527","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2d/72dcef9f-98fb-58e8-a836-991a5b4cf39f/5886be4ce880e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C527"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1799","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/2d/72dcef9f-98fb-58e8-a836-991a5b4cf39f/5886be4ce880e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1799"}}},{"id":"0e3cea6b-5a1c-5366-95e8-0609978a9ce0","description":"City of Muscatine employee Denny Brady fills up the back of a truck Monday afternoon with cold patch so crews can head back out and fill the potholes throughout Muscatine.","byline":"BETH VAN ZANDT/MUSCATINE JOURNAL","hireswidth":1767,"hiresheight":1172,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e3/0e3cea6b-5a1c-5366-95e8-0609978a9ce0/5886be4c121a3.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1767","height":"1172","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e3/0e3cea6b-5a1c-5366-95e8-0609978a9ce0/5886be4c10d89.image.jpg?resize=1767%2C1172"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e3/0e3cea6b-5a1c-5366-95e8-0609978a9ce0/5886be4c10d89.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e3/0e3cea6b-5a1c-5366-95e8-0609978a9ce0/5886be4c10d89.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"679","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e3/0e3cea6b-5a1c-5366-95e8-0609978a9ce0/5886be4c10d89.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C679"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"eacdd475-9480-55e8-8c2c-05464e075f00","body":"

MUSCATINE, Iowa \u2014 City road crews were out in full force Monday to fill potholes around Muscatine.

Street Maintenance Supervisor Randy Howell said they used cold patch to fill the holes, which can be used in colder weather.

\"It\u2019s real real sticky and tends to work better when the pavement is cold and dirty,\" Howell said.

If the holes are full of water or ice, the substance will not stick, Howell said, so weather plays a large role in whether or not repairs can be made

\"What we try to strive for when it\u2019s cold is to have the holes as dry as possible, and hopefully no moisture evident on the roadway,\" he said.

Each crew should go through between 1/2 and 3/4 ton of cold patch per day, although on Monday at least one crew used a ton, Howell said.

\"We got some more fresh stuff and it\u2019s here on hand,\" he said.

The majority of calls from residents about potholes come from roads people use for travel the most, Howell said, like Cedar Street, Houser Street, and Fulliam Avenue.

\"What we find the most is that our streets that we call emergency routs, primary street routs, we try to concentrate on those first,\" he said. \"Most calls come from more heavily driven streets.\"

Three crews of two people each will work to continue repairs throughout the week, weather permitting.

\"With the long stretch that we had of that really cold weather, about a month ago had three crews out, but when it got super cold it disintegrated all those patches,\" Howell said.

"}, {"id":"c18f0356-e880-5f9b-a522-2c9a102bb48c","type":"article","starttime":"1485215820","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T17:57:00-06:00","sections":[{"illinois":"news/state-and-regional/illinois"},{"education":"news/local/education"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Universities could see funding restored in Illinois Senate budget deal","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/article_c18f0356-e880-5f9b-a522-2c9a102bb48c.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/universities-could-see-funding-restored-in-illinois-senate-budget-deal/article_c18f0356-e880-5f9b-a522-2c9a102bb48c.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/universities-could-see-funding-restored-in-illinois-senate-budget-deal/article_c18f0356-e880-5f9b-a522-2c9a102bb48c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dan Petrella and Debby Hernandez\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"SPRINGFIELD \u2014 Illinois\u2019 public universities would see state funding restored to the level it was before the start of the ongoing budget impasse under a bipartisan \u201cgrand bargain\u201d being considered in the state Senate. While university officials welcome the prospect of additional funding, they said it\u2019s important for the public to understand that the Senate proposal would still represent a funding cut over a two-year period.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["paul mccann","jay groves","john cullerton","illinois senate","bruce rauner","christine radogno","illinois state university","southern illinois","general assembly","john charles","illinois","eastern illinois","southern illinois university","matt bierman","illinois board of higher education","western illinois","university","economics","politics","work","senate","april","june","higher education","plan","funding"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b20fd3d1-6255-5a73-9fd1-2a905ba6ca93","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"268","height":"187","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/20/b20fd3d1-6255-5a73-9fd1-2a905ba6ca93/5886a04b8c24c.image.jpg?resize=268%2C187"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"70","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/20/b20fd3d1-6255-5a73-9fd1-2a905ba6ca93/5886a04b8c24c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C70"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"209","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/20/b20fd3d1-6255-5a73-9fd1-2a905ba6ca93/5886a04b8c24c.image.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"715","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/20/b20fd3d1-6255-5a73-9fd1-2a905ba6ca93/5886a04b8c24c.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"c18f0356-e880-5f9b-a522-2c9a102bb48c","body":"

SPRINGFIELD \u2014 Illinois\u2019 public universities would see state funding restored to the level it was before the start of the ongoing budget impasse under a bipartisan \u201cgrand bargain\u201d being considered in the state Senate.

While university officials welcome the prospect of additional funding, they said it\u2019s important for the public to understand that the Senate proposal would still represent a funding cut over a two-year period.

The state\u2019s nine public university systems have been funded through a series of emergency and stopgap spending measures since the 2014-15 school year ended and the standoff between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled General Assembly began. As a result, some schools, including Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois universities, have laid off hundreds of employees, and others have frozen hiring and made additional spending cuts.

The Senate package, which also includes tax increases, gambling expansion, pension reforms and a host of other issues, would allocate an additional $1.1 billion in the current year for higher education. That includes money for universities, community colleges and grants to low-income students through the Monetary Award Program.

Combined with nearly $1 billion for higher education that was included in a stopgap spending deal approved in June, the Senate plan would restore university funding for this year to where it was in the 2014-15 school year. Schools currently aren\u2019t receiving any state funds because the stopgap deal expired after Dec. 31.

The various components of the package, cobbled together by Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, are scheduled for committee hearings beginning Tuesday.

\u201cAnything that gets us more money, we\u2019re certainly supportive,\u201d said John Charles, executive director for governmental and public affairs at Southern Illinois University.

Under the Senate\u2019s proposal, Southern Illinois would receive $93.4 million on top of the $106.2 million it received from the June stopgap spending plan. But the university, like others across the state, used the stopgap money to pay for expenses from the 2015-16 school year, during which it received only $57.5 million from an emergency funding measure approved in April.

In effect, Charles said, because the June stopgap money was used for last year\u2019s expenses, the $93.4 million from the Senate plan would be the university\u2019s only state funding for the current year, compared with $199.6 million for the 2014-15 school year.

However, the university supports the plan, Charles said. If it\u2019s approved, Southern Illinois will get through the rest of the year by continuing a hiring freeze and spending cuts at its campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville and medical school in Springfield, he said.

Eastern Illinois Treasurer Paul McCann likewise said the university would be grateful to receive any state funding.

\u201cWe have done the things that we need to do to make the university viable, and so we are appreciative of anything they can do for us,\u201d he said.

Eastern Illinois, which has laid off more than 400 people in the past two years, would receive $11.2 million in additional funding under the Senate plan.

That\u2019s on top of $26.2 million it received from the June stopgap and $12.5 million from the April funding measure, which were used for expenses from last school year.

The university received another $5.6 million in emergency funding that the Illinois Board of Higher Education doled out in November. It put that money toward payroll and other expenses from the current year.

Meanwhile, Western Illinois would receive $11.7 million under the Senate plan. It received $31.4 million from the June stopgap, $14.9 million from the April measure and $8.4 million from the Board of Higher Education\u2019s November allotment.

Matt Bierman, the university\u2019s budget director, said the Senate proposal is a good first step toward bringing back appropriate state funding levels for higher education.

\u201cWe take (it) as a really good sign, as recognition that the universities have unfortunately been collateral damage in this budget process,\u201d he said.

Bierman said that although the new funding would make a difference, the university wants to remind legislators that the lack of full funding for last school year \u201ctook a toll on the universities.\u201d

Western Illinois laid off nearly 150 employees last school year.

Illinois State University is in a stronger financial position than some other universities, chief of staff Jay Groves said, but the lack of consistent funding has been a problem for the entire public higher education system.

Illinois State would receive $33.9 million under the Senate plan on top of $38.3 million from the June stopgap and $20.9 million from the April measure.

\u201cIt\u2019s important and significant that they are having productive discussions about a full budget,\u201d Groves said.

Even if the proposal is approved, schools \u201cwill still have some financial difficulty that we will have to address,\u201d he said.

\u201cWe certainly look forward to a solution on predictable and stable funding for public higher education going forward,\u201d Groves said.

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Muscatine Police and Sheriff

Jan. 19, 7:30 a.m., 400 block Walnut Street, warrant, arrest.

Jan. 19, 7:32 a.m., 400 block Walnut Street, warrant, arrest.

Jan. 19, 9:10 a.m., 300 block E. Third Street, burglary, report.

Jan. 19, 1:02 p.m., E. Fifth Street/Mulberry Avenue, accident, report.

Jan. 19, 3:33 p.m., 2000 block Cedar Plaza Drive, harassment/obscene calls, arrest.

Jan. 19, 3:58 p.m., 1700 block Demorest Avenue, assault ambulance requested, arrest.

Jan. 19, 5:22 p.m., 400 block Walnut Street, warrant, arrest.

Jan. 19, 8:03 p.m., 00 block Aaron Avenue, attempt to locate, arrest.

Jan. 19, 8:29 p.m., 3200 block Highway 22, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 19, 9:36 p.m., 150th Street/Highway 38, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 20, 12:16 p.m., 3400 block N. Highway 61, shoplifting, arrest.

Jan. 20, 1:09 p.m., Hancock Street/Isett Avenue, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 20, 7:13 p.m., 100 block Donna Drive, burglary, report.

Jan. 21, 1:22 a.m., 100 block W. Second Street, criminal mischief, report.

Jan. 21, 9:47 a.m., 1800 block Logan Street, warrant, arrest.

Jan. 21, 2:59 p.m., Newell Avenue/Siegel Street, accident, report.

Jan. 21, 3:24 p.m., 400 block Walnut Street, warrant, arrest.

Jan. 21, 4:34 p.m., Ijem Avenue/Railroad Street, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 21, 8:04 p.m., 300 block E. Fifth Street, follow up, arrest.

Jan. 21, 8:14 p.m., 1400 block W. Bypass 61, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 21, 10:54 p.m., 155th Street/Highway 38, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 21, 11:01 p.m., Highway 38/W. Fifth Street, transport, arrest.

Jan. 21, 11:59 p.m., 1500 block Mulberry Avenue, criminal mischief, report.

Jan. 22, 12:45 a.m., 3100 block Highway 61, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 22, 2:10 a.m., 200 block E. Second Street, suspicious activity, arrest.

Jan. 22, 2:45 a.m., 100 block W. Third Street, disturbance, arrest.

Jan. 22, 3:48 a.m., Highway 61/Cedar Street, reckless driver, arrest.

Jan. 22, 5;52 a.m., 155th Street/Highway 38, criminal mischief, report.

Jan. 22, 11 a.m., 1400 block Lincoln Boulevard, burglary, report.

Jan. 22, 1:35 p.m., 100 block North Street, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 22, 3:40 p.m., 300 block Monroe Street, attempt to locate, arrest.

Jan. 22, 5:29 p.m., 2400 block Second Avenue, shoplifting, arrest.

Jan. 22, 8:35 p.m., 1800 block E Avenue, harassment/obscene calls, report.

Jan. 22, 9:45 p.m., 2200 block S. 41st Street, traffic stop, arrest.

Jan. 23, 2:04 a.m., Cobblestone Drive/Colorado Street, traffic stop, arrest.

Muscatine Fire and Ambulance

Jan. 19, 8 a.m., 33rd Street/Stewart Road, motor vehicle accident with injuries.

Jan. 19, 8:17 a.m., 33rd Street/Stewart Road, extraction of victim(s) from vehicle.

Jan. 19, 8:53 a.m., 2416 Park Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 9:27 a.m., 1222 Vista Ct., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 9:54 a.m., 715 Wier St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 11:43 a.m., 2915 N. Highway 61, unintentional alarm system activation.

Jan. 19, 12:25 p.m., 1604 Foster St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 12:34 p.m., 220 Iowa Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 3:56 p.m., 2811 Kaitlyn Drive, emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 4 p.m., 1703 Demorest Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 4:06 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 6:29 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 6:36 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 19, 10:44 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 1:59 a.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 7:59 a.m., 1484 Washington St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 8:09 a.m., 117 W. Third St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 9:58 a.m., 3465 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 10:41 a.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 11:10 a.m., 106 E. Sixth St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 12:59 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 1:45 p.m., 3600 block Palms Drive, emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 3:25 p.m., 106 E. Sixth St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 3:38 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 6:59 p.m., 2416 Park Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 7:19 p.m., 400 Walnut St., unintentional sprinkler activation.

Jan. 20, 9:59 p.m., 3515 Diana Queen Drive, emergency medical services.

Jan. 20, 11:37 p.m., 2002 Cedar St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 7:34 a.m., 2421 Lutheran Drive, emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 10:02 a.m., 220 Taylor St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 10:36 a.m., 907 Colver St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 10:48 a.m., 2002 Cedar St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 10:53 a.m., 4605 Condor St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 11:39 a.m., 1611 Stewart Rd., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 11:54 a.m., 2002 Cedar St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 11:59 a.m., 3305 N. Highway 61, unintentional alarm system activation.

Jan. 21, 12:16 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 12:49 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 1:18 p.m., 2421 Lutheran Drive, emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 2:59 p.m., Newell Avenue/Siegel Street, motor vehicle accident with injuries.

Jan. 21, 3:54 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 5:03 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 5:24 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 6:20 p.m., 509 E. 10th St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 6:41 p.m., 2421 Lutheran Drive, emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 7:16 p.m., 509 E. 10th St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 8;28 p.m., 1312 Oak St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 9:21 p.m., 3515 Diana Queen Drive, emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 9:35 p.m., 2447 Longhurst Ct., emergency medical services.

Jan. 21, 10:22 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 3:22 a.m., 106 E. Sixth St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 8:12 a.m., W. Fifth Street/Pine Street, emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 8:12 a.m., 1107 Dolliver St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 8:37 a.m., 101 W. Sixth St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 8:58 a.m., 2002 Cedar St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 10:53 a.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 3:08 p.m., 3440 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 3:29 p.m., 33 Debbie Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 4:37 p.m., 112 Park Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 5:01 p.m., 613 W. Fourth St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 5:12 p.m., 1412 Logan St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 5:28 p.m., 106 E. Sixth St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 8:16 p.m., 506 W. Fulliam Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 8:17 p.m., 154 North St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 8:23 p.m., 1202 E. Second St., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 8:46 p.m., 1810 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

Jan. 22, 9:15 p.m., 1518 Mulberry Ave., emergency medical services.

"}, {"id":"416296b2-0be8-50d7-94c8-2e14296e2fd4","type":"article","starttime":"1485213900","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-23T17:25:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1485224284","sections":[{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"education":"news/local/education"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Iowa lawmaker still paying for college proposes one-year tuition freeze","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_416296b2-0be8-50d7-94c8-2e14296e2fd4.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-lawmaker-still-paying-for-college-proposes-one-year-tuition/article_416296b2-0be8-50d7-94c8-2e14296e2fd4.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-lawmaker-still-paying-for-college-proposes-one-year-tuition/article_416296b2-0be8-50d7-94c8-2e14296e2fd4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"James Q. Lynch\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0A state lawmaker still paying his college loans is proposing to undo tuition increases already approved for the next academic year at Iowa\u2019s three public universities. Rep. Jake Highfill, R-Johnston, wants to freeze tuition for the 2017-18 academic year to provide some relief for students \u2014 and their parents \u2014 at Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa as well as their parents.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["jake highfill","tuition freeze","iowa","josh lehman","terry branstad","board of regents","university of northern iowa","kirkwood community college","university of iowa","iowa state university","education","tuition","uni","university","budget","undergraduate","student"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"a4045ddb-9a3a-5929-9668-ecfa208f7479","description":"Iowa state Rep. Jake Highfill, R-Johnston","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"413","height":"619","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/40/a4045ddb-9a3a-5929-9668-ecfa208f7479/5886936616615.image.jpg?resize=413%2C619"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/40/a4045ddb-9a3a-5929-9668-ecfa208f7479/54e620e4e9a7a.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/40/a4045ddb-9a3a-5929-9668-ecfa208f7479/54e620e4eacc3.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"700","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/40/a4045ddb-9a3a-5929-9668-ecfa208f7479/5886936616615.image.jpg?crop=392%2C268%2C2%2C128"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"416296b2-0be8-50d7-94c8-2e14296e2fd4","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0A state lawmaker still paying his college loans is proposing to undo tuition increases already approved for the next academic year at Iowa\u2019s three public universities.

Rep. Jake Highfill, R-Johnston, wants to freeze tuition for the 2017-18 academic year to provide some relief for students \u2014 and their parents \u2014 at Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa as well as their parents.

\u201cI think it time we slow down the growth\u201d in the regents\u2019 budget, he said Monday. \u201cEvery year, we grow the budget. We\u2019re investing a lot in our kids. We\u2019re investing a lot in higher education. I think we should freeze tuition and let them save a little money.\u201d

Highfill's bill is House File 45. The Board of Regents has registered in opposition to the bill because regents think they should have discretion and flexibility to work with the universities to set tuition, board spokesman Josh Lehman said.

After freezing resident undergraduate tuition for two-and-a-half years, regents since approved three increases as enrollment continues to grow to record levels.

The most recent increase was in December when regents approved a 2 percent per semester increase that bumped the base rate for in-state undergrads at the UI to $7,270 and to $7,240 at UNI and ISU in the 2017-18 academic year.

The package they approved also set varying increases for other students, including for out-of-state undergrads who pay four times more.

The bill, if ultimately adopted, would reset tuition to the current 2016-17 levels. The in-state undergrad rates now are $6,878 at the UI and $6,848 at ISU and UNI.

Last year, the regents unveiled a two-year budget blueprint to help students and parents plan for the cost of education \u2014 one that also draws a clear correlation between state support and tuition rates.

The blueprint envisioned a 2 percent increase in state support for the universities in both the 2018 and 2019 budget years. And it laid out a proposed 2 percent bump in resident undergraduate tuition for each of the two years.

Highfill, who attended Kirkwood Community College and the University of Iowa, didn\u2019t know the state would have to make cuts in the current year budget when he filed his bill, but he said the state is required by law to balance its budget even if that means making mid-year cuts.

He doesn\u2019t see any incongruity in the Legislature freezing tuition at the same time it is cutting the regents\u2019 budgets. Lawmakers and the governor have agreed to cut Iowa State and the University of Iowa by $8 million each and Northern Iowa by $2 million this year.

\u201cWe\u2019re really not cutting their budget,\u201d he said. \u201cWe\u2019re not growing it as much as they would like, but it\u2019s still higher than the year before and higher than the year before that.\u201d

Gov. Terry Branstad and lawmakers tentatively agreed to cut both the UI and ISU budgets by $8 million and UNI by $2 million this year below levels that were already appropriated.

Total general fund appropriations to the Board of Regents were $595 million in fiscal 2016. Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed appropriating $587 million and $597 million in fiscal 2018 and 2019, respectively.

In proposing the freeze, Highfill said enrollment is growing at the universities and out-of-state students, who pay higher tuition, now account for more than half of the enrollment.

According to Lehman, enrollment is 60 percent in-state and 40 percent out-of-state.

More students than ever enrolled last fall at the three public universities, reaching a total 81,899 overall. Ten years ago, total enrollment \u2014 including undergraduate, graduate and professional students was 69,178.

"} ]