The public schools enroll 503,000 students: 79% White, 10% Latino, and 5% African American, with 40% living in poverty and 5% learning English. The State spends $10,291 per pupil. (Most recent NCES data)
"The educational and school funds and lands shall be under the control and management of the General Assembly of this State." Iowa Const., art. IX, 2nd, § 1.
"The General Assembly shall encourage by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral and agricultural improvement. The proceeds of all lands that have been, or hereafter may be, granted by the United States to this State, for the support of schools,…shall be, and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, together with all rents of the unsold lands, and such other means as the General Assembly may provide, shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of Common schools throughout the State." Iowa Const., art. IX, 2nd, § 3.
Plaintiffs in a case challenging the constitutionality of a key aspect of the State’s school funding system withdrew the suit without prejudice after the Legislature revised the provision.
In 2012, the Iowa Supreme Court confirmed the trial court’s dismissal of King v. State, which the Court stated was “not a school funding case,” but rather a case claiming that the State failed to adopt educational standards and assessments, and teacher training, recruitment and retention programs. The Court discussed the Iowa Constitution’s education clause and found it did not support plaintiffs’ unusual claims in King.