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Governor Signs Community College Aid Distribution Bill Into Law

    by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
    Posted on 5/9/2024

Leaders from Iowa Central Community College recently attended the signing of a bill into law at the Iowa Statehouse that will update the distribution of state aid for community colleges between Iowa’s 15 institutions.

Dr. Jesse Ulrich, president of Iowa Central Community College and Jim Kersten, Iowa Central’s vice president of external affairs and government relations, were present for the May 8 signing in the governor’s office at the Capitol.

The new law, Senate File 2405, will allow for community college presidents and CEOs to draft the formula for state aid each year, requiring agreement from 10 of the 15 leaders instead of the state’s previous fixed formula. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Iowa Department of Education would instead establish one.

The bill outlines that each community college will maintain its current funding amount when the overall allocation is equal or greater than the previous year.

“Community college leadership are the most knowledgeable for responsibly handling the funds because they have the best understanding of how to do so equitably and effectively,” Community Colleges for Iowa Executive Director Emily Shields said in a news release.

“I’m proud of the community college leadership in Iowa, including the 15 presidents and chancellors in the state of Iowa, for coming together to create a bill that will provide equitable funding for all community colleges across the state,” said Dr.Ulrich.

Dr. Ulrich credited local legislators for making sure the bill made it to the governor’s desk for the benefit of Iowa Central.

“I appreciate our locally elected legislators who stepped up to make sure that this legislation got to the governor’s desk to benefit Iowa Central,” Dr. Ulrich added. “This bill will ensure that all students who choose community colleges as their post-secondary option will be provided a high-quality affordable education regardless of where they live in the state.”

Kersten said he and Iowa Central officials have worked toward the creation of a law allowing college presidents and leaders to create the funding formula for nearly two decades.

“It was an honor to help get the funding formula approved by the Iowa Legislature this session and signed by the governor,” Kersten said. “Iowa Central has been trying to get this done for over 20 years and I give all credit to Dr. Ulrich for this passing. Once Iowa community colleges agreed this reform was needed, we then worked with Iowa House and Senate leaders, including strong support of Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, Sen. Ken Rozenboom, Rep. Ann Meyer, Rep. Carter Nordman and Rep. Skyler Wheeler. Historic moment for Iowa Central and Dr. Ulrich.”

“I appreciate the willingness of Iowa’s community colleges to work together and be responsive to the unique needs of the regions they serve,” Governor Kim Reynolds said in the news release. “Iowans in every county have access to excellent educational opportunities, and this change will open more doors for students across the state.”

Iowa Central serves Region V, which includes the counties of Buena Vista, Calhoun, Greene, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster, and Wright in central and northwest Iowa.

Governor Signs Community College Aid Distribution Bill Into Law

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