#SOL23: Heartbreaking


  1. A school shooting in Iowa’s capital city leaves two students dead (16 and 18 year old males).
  2. A vote to provide taxpayer dollars to parents for “School Choice”
  3. A rush to pass a bill without clearly defined costs, without defined parameters, without equity for all students.
  4. A community activist remains hospitalized.

It’s hard to recognize the landscape of my state. Once a leader in education now destined to be a state promoting inequity and zero accountability as private schools have zero accountability.

Heartbreaking . . .

Students losing lives.

Students losing educational opportunities.

44 out of 99 counties have no private schools so there are no choices for students in those counties. Their public schools will suffer from the lack of adequate resources. Check the allowable growth funding for recent years.

FY 2016 = 1.25%

FY 2017 = 2.25%

FY 2018 = 1.11%

FY 2019 = 1.0%

FY 2020 = 2.06%

FY 2021 = 2.3%

FY 2022 = 2.4%

. . . Never keeping up with inflation. (And FY 2022 saw a tax cut of $300,000,000.)

The reality … 81 school districts did not receive any state funding increase because of declining enrollment.

Heartbreaking . . .

Reeling . . .

So much loss for so early in 2023. What can change this tsunami of death and destruction of public schools?


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18 responses

  1. Your slice spotlights a problem seen across our nation, not just in your state. I fear for the future of public education. I mourn the loss of young lives and am filled with questions, too. And no answers. Just weary bones. Keep reflecting and writing and staying curious.

    1. Sadly, it’s the second school shooting in about a year in Des Moines. Again, kids killing kids. With guns of course. And public education. It was a blitz media offensive by the governor funded by the Kochs, the left and other school privatizers.

  2. Fran, there are days when it seems insurmountable. In Georgia, a couple was arrested and charged with acts of violence against their adopted boys, and it turned my heart inside out today. I pinch myself sometimes, wondering what our world is coming to.

    1. So much gloom and doom. Maybe it was a replay of a Friday the 13th on the 23rd.

  3. You’ve laid the facts out so clearly here. Wow.

    1. School finance reform has been needed for ages. Sadly, this was an end run around the whole issue.

  4. Fran, thank you for writing what is on many educators’ minds. What is becoming of our educational systems? When will the violence turn to kindness? I just had this conversation with my husband who believes that parents are a big key.

    1. So many factors. Access to guns is too easy. So was the ability to cut off a court-ordered GPS tracker 16 minutes before the slaughter began. Kids killing kids.

  5. Very disheartening all around.

    1. Like a grief cycle. Trying to work through the process to come out with an action plan. (And knowing that it is going to get worse before it gets better.)

  6. Heartbreaking – trying to keep faith – in the system – in humanity. Thank you for this.

    1. So needed … solutions for the broken systems!

  7. You point out a problem that affects schools throughout the nation. So many non-public schools receive public funds with no accountability as to how those funds are used. As far as violence in schools, and other public places as well, I don’t know what the answer is. The whole world seems to be crazy.

    1. So many problems that need solutions. And yet so many are creating more NEW problems. YIKES!

  8. We’ve had murders of kids killing kids. They are not doing it inside of schools…yet, but the fear is there. Your check in with reality is heartbreaking, for sure.

    1. So few safe places left!

  9. The tragedy of young violence, connected to educational and economic inequity, is laid out with abundant clarity in this post. Why can’t the elected officials connect those dots, too? Sighing and shaking my fist alongside you, Fran.

    1. It’s too easy to buy into the repeated media messages of gloom and doom that are pushed by so many special interests. (That from a state that has legislation proposed to become a 2nd Amendment protected state.)

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